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

Single Review – Lucy Rose – Moirai

With her third studio album due for release on 7th July, Lucy Rose dropped Moirai – a glossy piano ballad deliberating the idea of fate and destiny in love. Rose already explored subtle and soft instrumentalism in Is This Called Home, sidelined by the more stirring No Good at All, which shared a greater resemblance to the tracks adorning her last album, Work it Out. Moirai explores a style more comparable to the former, with Rose’s vocals remaining centre-stage (where they should be), only to be buoyed by a graceful orchestral backing, warm piano and the slight flicker of percussion. It’s a beautifully composed number, with lyrics to match, but none of the singles she’s released carry the same weight of those featured on Work It Out. Her talent cannot be undermined, but I can’t say I’m super excited for this release.

Eleanor Chivers

Single Review – Lucy Rose – No Good At All

With the third album on the horizon, Lucy Rose dropped No Good At All – a track that, once again, serves to emphasise her feathery vocals, harmonised with gentle instrumentalism. Unlike the quiet and simple Is This Called Home, this song builds into something a little more exciting, with lyrics easier to chime in with, something of a synth undertone and substantial piano. Smooth intricacies slide their way into the track, which makes it a much more standout single, while still in-keeping with the hushed and refined style fans have come to know. Its incorporation of what is typically Lucy Rose in its delicacy, but also the subtle ramping-up of the backing track, picks up hope for Something’s Changing, due to be released in July.
Ellie Chivers

Single Review – Lucy Rose – Is This Called Home

The unmistakeable silky vocals of Lucy Rose take centre stage in her new track Is This Called Home; a tender guitar number, sustained by quickening percussion, elegant orchestral notes and glistening harmonies. Her powerful vocal chords carry the track prominently until around two minutes into the track, by which time I’m unfortunately a little bored. Though the track still has gorgeous aspects to come, it goes too long without any great substance. It doesn’t have the upholding power that Our Eyes or Like an Arrow of her previous LP did. Having said that, the simple instrumentalism serves to compliment the beautiful lyrics and the light tones of her voice. It’s a delicate and wonderfully executed composition, but also pretty boring.
Eleanor Chivers

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

This Week’s Music Video with Blur, Bjork, Nick Cave, Death Grips, Lucy Rose, FFS and FIDLAR,

Single Review – Lucy Rose – I Tried

Lucy Rose’s latest release, I Tried, is a chilled out track with subtle electronica and delicate, almost haunting vocals. With a slow, gentle beat and glittering backing synth, the singer-songwriter’s effortless voice without a doubt takes centre stage, and yet the softness of her lyrics somehow melts perfectly into the track to create a tapestry of mellow sound that is incredibly satisfying.

It’s a song to relax to after a long day with glass of wine in hand, and the perfect follow up to her more upbeat previous single, Our Eyes. With her new album due for release next month, I Tried is a fantastic teaser and enough to have us itching to hear more of her beautifully soothing vocals.

Ellie Scott @elliemaryscott

Single Review – Lucy Rose – Our Eyes

Today, Lucy Rose released a single from her upcoming second album entitled Work It Out; the follow up to her 2012 debut album Like I used to. The new and typically scrutinised second album is always a testing and often dictates the direction of the artist. ‘Our Eyes’ gives us a clue to this second album and from it, 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 and whilst it’s not entirely separate musically, it certainly leaves scope for progression on her July 6th album.

Owen Riddle @oriddleo1995

Manic Street Preachers – Rewind The Film Review

The Manics are pure legends of British Music and are valued and respected for the content they’ve produced for over twenty years now. However they did seem to have lost their edge slightly with their last album Postcards of a Young Man from 2010 and there was almost the feeling they had lost their way with their next work.  Now we know that this is the first of two completed albums from the Manics with Rewind The Film being the acoustic and more considered and nostalgic album and another more rock orientated towards their earlier work. Initially I was sceptical of the word acoustic being linked with a band of 40 somethings as in many past cases it’s musically and lyrically very basic and often a list of covers ‘from the songs they listened to as a nipper’ and only succeeds in their old catalouges being dug out. However with ‘Rewind the Film’ they have been able to develop a distinct mood and tone while keeping that sense of nostalgia albeit at a slightly less positive angle. It’s by no means a nothing acoustic ballad from a fading star losing the best of his vocal or a pointless churning through guitar chords. This is also an album that I’ve featured twice already with the tracks ‘Rewind The Film’ and ‘Show Me The Wonder’ and from that it’s not fallen into any stereotypes of aging rockers and acoustic guitars but does the album maintain it? 

The Manics decided that only Richard Hawley could deliver the title track ‘Rewind The Film’ for them otherwise it would not be worth putting on the album. Having developed a friendship with lead singer James Dean Bradfield, Hawley was happy to do so and didn’t want to let them down and mentioned how much of an honour it was to record with the Manics. It’s very much his tune with the Manics acting as backing band while Hawley’s rich and deep vocal runs against the instrumentals to really create a sombre feel to the song. The drama comes in the form of James Dean Bradfield making the odd burst towards the end and his powerful and energetic vocal still sounds as good as it did back in 1992 so there are no problems on that front. Of course musically it’s pretty basic, but the length of the song allows for a subtle but noticeable build up in sound from something sombre and considered to something grand and dramatic. Generally the track has been well received and perhaps taken a few critics by surprise due to wow they’ve utilised the acoustic sound in their own way.  ’Show Me The Wonder’ is the Manics taking the lead. It’s much more the positive, light hearted ballad they’ve been plugging for the last few years but’s been very much refreshed by the acoustic sound… yes I said refreshed. In addition to this it’s just a lot more catchy too with the trumpets giving the melody.  On the flipside to the title track its much more hopeful and optimistic in a sense lyrically; but also in the general tone and musicality of the song. The powerful and joyful vocals, the trumpets and the catchy riffs, percussion and bass lines.

’30-Year War’ is an odd song in principle to the acoustic sound with the synth beats and effects fused with it. As well as the vocal echo and isolation effects. Its almost Manics circa 2004 and it does start to work and gel together as a concept the more you listen to it. Perhaps this is helped as its something they’ve done before with Lifeblood. The lyrics and general message is an anti-Thatcher one. Including what she did to the working classes and her actions after Hillsborough etc. ‘(I Miss The) Tokyo Skyline’ is the epitome of the album with the way they’ve worked and manipulated the acoustic sound in much of the same way as ‘My Little Empire’ or ‘Ready For Drowning’ from 1998’s This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours and that is why it works so well as it did in 1998. ‘This Sullen Welsh Heart’ is probably more akin to the standard acoustic album and this has probably been tailored to Lucy Rose’s contribution but it’s a nice track and contrast between J.D.B’s more rough edged vocal against Lucy’s softer and more delicate sound. Rewind The Film is not too generic and its by no means so experimental and conceptualized that it isn’t relatable or translatable. The lyrics are and music share equal footing and in general it just shows that the Manics are still capable of being truly creative.

Manic Street Preachers – Rewind The Film = 8.5/10

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