Lucy Rose – Something’s Changing Review

“If you book me a gig, I’ll come and stay” – these were the words indie songstress Lucy Rose tweeted out to her South American fanbase after leaving her label, unbeknownst to her that she would be performing a life-changing tour, staying at fans’ houses and pouring her heart out to them alongside her husband, her guitar and her camera. And it was on this intrepid exploration that Rose found comfortable footing in warm guitar balladry, paving the way for her third LP Something’s Changing, her most assured and consistent album to date. Oh, the unbelievable and pretty darn scary power of the internet.

The foreign inspiration for the album bubbles up in Intro, with an isolated oriental sounding riff to back Rose’s wispy, yet gorgeously strong vocals. This seems to be mostly where the tour-inspired sounds lie, as we glide into the glistening Is This Called Home; a muted, velvety guitar number. I still stand by the fact that I find this song a bit boring, but there’s no denying the beauty in its simplicity. It’s a wonderful opportunity to exploit her stellar vocal cords, and Rose’s bravery in exhibiting a sense of vulnerability in her almost solitary, quavering voice is hugely admirable. The Staves join Rose on the similar Floral Dresses. In this melancholy, guitar-driven track, the folk trio add verve to Rose’s lyrics through smooth harmonies. Once again, though it’s not necessarily exciting music, the courage to expose such a frangibility speaks volumes compared to an over-mechanised track. At the same time – despite the openness – Rose’s vocals arguably better suit this dainty minimalism versus the more instrument-heavy endeavours (Cover Up, Köln, Sheffield) on Work It Out. It strangely feels more secure to me.

Regardless of the dominance of no-nonsense, unadorned vocal compositions, other songs do have a bit more of an instrumental presence. Love Song is given a boost through quickened guitar plucks and claps towards its conclusion, while Soak it Up is granted fervency in the deep piano of the chorus and mellow electric guitar. Find Myself is perhaps the most notable up-beat number, thanking the song’s recipient for the experience they’ve given her, and how they’ve helped her grow, with the aid of ever-tender acoustic and whispers of percussion. Wherever the instruments are, they serve to compliment Rose’s soft voice, remaining inconspicuous and understated. This comes with the exception of album closer I Can’t Change It All, which features an orchestral backing that, in relation to the subtlety of the rest of the album, frankly feels overbearing and detached.

In its general quietness and delicacy, Something’s Changing is ideal easy-listening. It parades both fragility and confidence, love and heartache, with its biggest asset revealing itself to be Lucy Rose’s undisputable vocal cords, and how she can manipulate a song to convey any message with complete conviction and discreet flair.

Lucy Rose – Something’s Changing: 8/10

Eleanor Chivers

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