Young British singer/songwriter Lianne La Havas spent last fall touring with Bon Iver. So, depending on how cynical you are, the unknown La Havas either got really lucky or is a label pet pushing innocuous guitar-based soul. The latter is gleaned easily from a cursory listen to her debut record of frothy, pleasant R&B chanson.
But spend more time with it and you can hear raw potential beneath the layers of careful, big-budget production. La Havas's voice is caramelized and delicate, fissured in quiet moments but soaring to sparkling peaks. It blends melismatic 90s Brit Soul with the tranquility of Norah Jones. What La Havas lacks in narrative bravery, she makes up for in bold guitar lines on Au Cinema, Forget and the titular track.
Essentially, Is Your Love Big Enough? is a restrained, technically proficient showpiece for a gifted artist. But that voice and guitar-playing seem destined for bigger, realer things.
Top track: Tease Me