Lucy Rose – Work It Out Review

The nice and breezy folk pop that was Lucy Rose’s debut Like I Used To from 2012 was an easy and safe way to get herself established as a solo artist, dipping into the fan-base of Bombay Bicycle Club and others. With her second studio album Work It Out Lucy put an emphasis on her development from her first album and that’s encouraging thing when tackling the well worn notion of the notorious second album and without the safety of her first album being an option for a second, development just has to be the all encompassing term to accompany the album.

‘Our Eyes’ shows that a change of direction seems to be evident. From this she has moved away from the folk-ish elements of her work to a more groove orientated track with prominent bass-lines fused with airy riffs and synth chords. Despite the tumbling percussion, it makes for a subtle track led by her soft wistful vocals that move beyond intimacy and towards melodic hooks. The track has a basic sense of building and deconstructing sound to fixate the listener and provide a peak in sound which is a sure sign of a good pop tune. A solid effort here. ‘I Tried’ is very much set against the light beats of ‘Our Eyes’ and offers up a more considerate approach with simple piano-ballad instrumentation accentuated by echoed percussion and Lucy’s vocal in perfect isolation. From this the song grows darker and bolder with rumbling electronica in the chorus and her isolated and clear vocal becoming a little more distorted and muted. It is a great example of a darker and shadowy song of contemplation which she delivers with all grace and eloquence. ‘Cover Up’ take that rumbling electronica and applies it to a light dance track with the soft beats bouncing off it along with Lucy’s higher, quick-fire vocal. The vocal fluctuates as the electronica sweeps and shifts and features her distorted vocal that’s fed back in reverse in intervals throughout the song. A brilliantly produced song which pulls off a more complex song structure.

‘Like An Arrow’ leans a little more towards the breezy folk pop style of her debut, but at least here she expands upon it with the cushioned beats of a drum machine and an instrumentation that spreads and grows with sweeping riffs and strings. The song perhaps looks a little tame next to the first two singles though. ‘Into The Wild’ is an intimate folk track with the soft scratchy riffs and the echo applied to them and her vocal which is as finely poised and melodic as ever. These tracks do go against the aim of development and whilst delivered well and adding depth to the album, it does little to raise the album to something higher and is too familiar to engage with enthusiastically. ‘Koln’ is a more expansive guitar driven track which offer up nice peaks and troughs musically and allows Lucy to test her vocals, yet tracks like ‘My Life’ see her falling into her comfort zone again. Tracks like ‘Work It Out’ have that bigger, shaking production and really seem to have a purpose too. It’s an odd album. An album of two sides. One side of her album features her gradually developed and expansive sound and methods whilst the other features those idling English countryside daydreams that are distant from musical reality. With Work It Out Lucy has went in the right direction with one foot into that reality, but she’s not quite there yet.

Lucy Rose – Work It Out = 7/10

Owen Riddle @oriddleo1995

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