Lianne La Havas ¦ Lianne La Havas

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Lianne La Havas
Lianne La Havas - Lianne La Havas.png
Studio album by
Released17 July 2020 (2020-07-17)
RecordedOctober 2019 – December 2019
GenreNeo soul
ProducerLianne La Havas, Matt Hales
Lianne La Havas chronology
Lianne La Havas
Singles from Lianne La Havas
  1. "Bittersweet"
    Released: 25 February 2020
  2. "Paper Thin"
    Released: 4 May 2020

Lianne La Havas is the self-titled third studio album by English singer Lianne La Havas. The album was released on 17 July 2020.[1] Released after a five-year hiatus and written following La Havas' break-up, the album was inspired by the life cycle of nature and its ability to thrive, go away, and come back stronger. Recording of the album took place between October 2019 and December 2019, with sessions taking place in London, Bath and New York. The album's production was handled by La Havas along with long-term collaborator Matt Hales, co-producer Beni Giles, and guest co-producer Mura Masa.

Lianne La Havas is a concept album with a song cycle that depicts the stages of a relationship, from early romance to demise. The albums musical style was inspired by Milton Nascimento, Joni Mitchell, Jaco Pastorious, Al Green, and Destiny's Child, resulting in a predominately neo soul album with elements of jazz and folk. Upon release, the album was met with rave reviews from critics, who praised the album's eclectic musical style and lyrical exploration.


Following the release of La Havas' second studio album Blood (2015), Havas was not satisfied with the album and felt it did not express or represent her at the time.[2] She took time off from her recording career to enter a new relationship and later deal with the break-up, although she continued to tour in the period between albums.[3] The relationships demise would go on to inspire La Havas to begin work on the follow up to Blood. La Havas wanted a greater artistic input for the album and wanted to be in control of the album's style and direction.[4] La Havas did not know what direction the album would initially take and "tapped into the best and worst parts" to help inform it.[4] She described the album's process as being "driven by emotion" and at the time being the closest she had gotten to "pure" artistic expression.[4]

The album's process took La Havas five years, something she had not planned for, stating "to make a complete piece of work that meant something that had a story just took a little bit of time".[5] The album's theme was inspired by the life cycle of nature and plants. La Havas wanted the album to follow the journey of a seasonal flower, one that "blooms, thrives, goes away, and comes back even stronger. A flower has to dry up and die in order to be reborn. You have to get to the rock bottom to rebuild yourself."[6] The relationship and its break-up became the main theme of the album's lyrical content, which follows a journey of three vignettes.[3] The first describes the early and joyous period a new relationship, the second focuses on the demise of the relationship whilst the third revolves around the enjoyment and loneliness of being independent.[3]

Writing and recording

Milton Nascimento was one of numerous artists to inspire La Havas during the album's writing process.

The album was written after La Havas' breakup from her partner, with La Havas stating, "I can't write when I'm in the thick of it. I think I've got to calm down a little bit."[3] The album's writing sessions happened sporadically over a ten-month period.[3] The writing sessions took place between the United Kingdom and the United States and were inspired by a variety of artists including Milton Nascimento, Joni Mitchell, Jaco Pastorious, Al Green, and Destiny's Child harmonies and themes of empowerment.[7][8] Recording of the album was not initially planned.[7] Following La Havas' performance at the Glastonbury festival in June 2019, La Havas and her band went to the studio to work on a live version of Radiohead's ‘Weird Fishes'.[7] La Havas enjoyed the session and wanted her third album to be recorded in a similar way:

I had the most wonderful, nourishing experience recording that, and that’s where I decided: the rest of the album needs to be like this. It’s got to be my band, and I’ve got to do it in London, whenever people have time.[7]

By October 2019, La Havas had written all ten tracks and by December the album's recording had been completed.[7] The recording sessions took place in London, Bath and New York. The album's production was handled by long-term collaborator Matt Hales, co-producer Beni Giles, and guest co-producer Mura Masa.[7] "Paper Thin", started from a dream in which La Havas could hear a melody and the songs to be opening lyrics.[3] The song was later recorded at Homer Steinweiss' New York studio, the songs minimalist production inspired La Havas and informed the sound and style of the album.[9] "Can't Fight" was inspired by R&B from La Havas' childhood. The song was created and recorded in Peckham along with producer Mura Masa. During the production of the song La Havas and Masa were listening to Vulfpeck, which inspired the song's soulful production.[10]


To call it soul music would be reductive; too many black artists have hastily been assigned the label just for the color of their skin, a restrictive tendency that La Havas herself has railed against. But without a doubt, La Havas makes soul music insofar as it originates from the soul.

 — Sophia Ordaz of Slant Magazine, discussing the album's musical[11]

The album's digital version features twelve tracks, whilst the album's physical version features ten. The album is a predominatly neo-soul album, however Sophia Ordaz of Slant Magazine states "La Havas’s style remains tricky to pin down, existing somewhere in the nexus of the soulful warmth of Corinne Bailey Rae, the confessional lyricism of Amy Winehouse, and the folky melodicism of Joni Mitchell."[11] The album adopted a more cohesive composition than its predecessors. Jenessa Williams of the NME notes that Liana La Havas is "focused around a primary nucleus of intimate vocals, nimble guitar-work and driving percussion. Where debut ‘Is Your Love Big Enough’ at times felt forcibly upbeat, these new songs are languid and spacious, roaming from song to song in a way that suits their creator's natural approach to storytelling."[12]

The album is made up of three vignettes, with each one focusing on a particular moment during La Havas' past relationships.[3] The album's opening song "Bittersweet" is a soul song that features piano chords and subtle guitar lines.[13] The song does not sit within the three vignette's but was described by La Havas as an "overview" of the album's themes.[14] From "Bittersweet" onward, the album follows the arc of a relationship headed for disaster. The first phase, infatuation, is introduced in the second song "Read My Mind". The song lyrically describes La Havas' being smitten with new love.[15]

Weird Fishes is a cover version originally performed by Radiohead.

"Can't Fight" features the use of the guitar and lyrically discusses wanting something that is not right for you. Expanding on this theme, La Havas said "People say if you're having a hard time in a relationship, just leave. It's so easy to say, but it's so much more complicated than that. Because there's two of you, and neither of you are perfect. And there are things that you're learning along the way. So you think, Well, let me do a little bit of work and just see if we can get that feeling back—it's possible because we do really love each other."[10] "Paper Thin" features a "soothing" and strumming guitar.[16] "Weird Fishes" is a cover version originally performed by Radiohead from the album In Rainbows (2007). La Havas' version features a stripped-down production containing soulful and key-heavy tones.[17]

"Seven Times" incorporates elements of Spanish flamenco and jazz and drew comparisons to Lauryn Hill.[12] "Soul Flower" is a seven-minute song that features folk and art-rock influences and was noted by Michael Cragg from The Observer as "recalls Rainbows-era Radiohead".[18]

Release and promotion

The album was released on 17 July 2020, by Warner Records, La Havas' third to be released under the label. The standard edition was released on CD, vinyl, digital download and streaming. The digital version of the album contains two additional tracks; "Bittersweet" (Full Length) and "Out of Your Mind" (interlude). The vinyl version of the album was released in two formats; a standard version and an exclusive clear version.[19]

To promote the album La Havas' did multiple live performances. In late February La Havas sang at the Barbican in London alongside the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Jules Buckley.[20] In early May, La Havas performed from home at "NPR's "Tiny Desk (Home) Concert" series. The homemade video featured La Havas accompanied by her string guitar whilst performing "Bittersweet" and "Paper Thin".[21]

The album was supported by the release of two singles. The album's lead single "Bittersweet" was released on 25 February 2020.[22] La Havas released "Paper Thin" on 4 May 2020, the same day that the album was announced.

Critical reception

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
AllMusic4.5/5 stars[25]
The Daily Telegraph4/5 stars[26]
musicOMH5/5 stars[27]
NME4/5 stars[12]
The Observer4/5 stars[18]
Q3/5 stars[28]
Slant Magazine4/5 stars[11]
The Times4/5 stars[30]

Lianna La Havas received widespread acclaim from critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream publications, the album received an average score of 83, based on 19 reviews.[24] Aggregator AnyDecentMusic? gave it 8.0 out of 10, based on their assessment of the critical consensus.[23]

The album's eclectic musical style was well received by reviewers. musicOMH writer Chloe Johnson described the album as "truly captivating" saying "every song is an earworm, and Lianne La Havas’ third album is haunting in the way only inspiring music can claim to be; a beautiful ghost to soundtrack your life to."[27] NME's Jenessa Williams similarly praised the album's composition observing that "‘Lianne La Havas’ is a far more cohesive record than any of its predecessors, focused around a primary nucleus of intimate vocals, nimble guitar-work and driving percussion."[12] Michael Cragg from The Observer summarised the album saying "While there are still nods to the polite dinner-party soundtrack feel of her early work – the string-drenched Courage, for example – this is a much bolder statement of intent."[18]

Other reviews recognized that the album's lyrical exploration. Neil McCormick from the The Daily Telegraph called the album a "jazzy, soulful, understated account of breakup and recovery, that shimmers like a gorgeous summer groove and lets La Havas’s tender singing and cryptic lyrics carry the bittersweet emotion."[26] Slant Magazine writer Sophia Ordaz believed "the album instantly feels more purposeful than its predecessor: Where Blood can feel labored over, perhaps too hungry for hits, Lianne La Havas isn’t seemingly beholden to such expectations."[11] Andy Kellman made a similar comparison in the review for AllMusic, claiming that "La Havas' lithe voice forms a tighter bond with the lyrics, and her gently ringing guitar rarely leaves her hands."[25]

Rachel Aroesti from Q was more critical and believed "there's a wobbly quality to La Havas's toplines that means they can get lost in the more densely instrumented tracks, yet the sparser finger-picked guitar numbers give her songwriting space to shine."[28]

Track listing

Lianne La Havas track listing[31]
1."Bittersweet" (full length)
2."Read My Mind"
  • La Havas
  • Aqualung
  • Giles
3."Green Papaya"
  • La Havas
  • Hales
  • Samuel Crowe
  • Frida Touray
  • La Havas
  • Crowe
  • Giles[a]
4."Can't Fight"
5."Paper Thin"
  • La Havas
  • Hales
6."Out of Your Mind" (interlude)
  • La Havas
  • Geordan Reid-Campbell
  • La Havas
  • Geo
7."Weird Fishes"
  • La Havas
  • Giles
8."Please Don't Make Me Cry"
  • La Havas
  • Hakim
  • Giles[a]
  • Aqualung[v]
9."Seven Times"
  • La Havas
  • Hales
  • La Havas
  • Aqualung
  • Giles
  • La Havas
  • Hales
  • Joseph Harrison
  • La Havas
  • Harrison
  • Aqualung[v]
11."Sour Flower"
  • La Havas
  • Hales
  • Crowe
  • La Havas
  • Hales
  • Ervin, Jr.
  • Hayes
  • Love
  • La Havas
  • Aqualung
  • Giles
Total length:51:56


  • "Bittersweet (full length)" is not included on the vinyl version, "Out of Your Mind (interlude)" is included but not listed on the outer jacket or inner labels. "Bittersweet (full length)" is the first track on the CD and "Out of Your Mind (interlude)" is hidden at the end of "Paper Thin" on CD.[32]

Sampling credits


Chart performance for Lianne La Havas
Chart (2020)Peak
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[33]44
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[34]8
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)[35]49
Dutch Albums (Album Top 100)[36]9
French Albums (SNEP)[37]106
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[38]20
Hungarian Albums (MAHASZ)[39]7
Scottish Albums (OCC)[40]8
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[41]6
UK Albums (OCC)[42]7

Release history

Various17 July 2020Warner[1]


  1. ^ a b "Lianne La Havas CD - Lianne La Havas". Warner Music Group.
  2. ^ "Lianne La Havas interview: 'Prince wanted me to make something I was really proud of'". Retrieved 18 May 2020.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "'I embraced the chance to have a rest': the return of Lianne La Havas". Retrieved 11 May 2020.
  4. ^ a b c "Lianne La Havas shares stirring new track 'Paper Thin'". Retrieved 13 May 2020.
  5. ^ "Lianne La Havas announces new self-titled album, shares single 'Paper Thin'". May 5, 2020.
  6. ^
  7. ^ a b c d e f "Lianne La Havas - Piccadillyrecords". Retrieved 11 May 2020.
  8. ^ "Lianne La Havas - nonesuch". Retrieved 12 May 2020.
  9. ^ Fatima, Areeb (May 6, 2020). "Lianne La Havas Announces New Album After A Break Of 5 Years".
  10. ^ a b "Lianne La Havas - Piccadillyrecords". Retrieved 19 May 2020.
  11. ^ a b c d Ordaz, Sophia (16 July 2020). "Review: Lianne La Havas's Eponymous Third Album Embraces the Catharsis of Loss". Slant Magazine. Retrieved 11 July 2020.
  12. ^ a b c d Williams, Jenessa (16 July 2020). "Lianne La Havas – 'Lianne La Havas' review: third time's the charm (and a shrewd play for self-ownership)". NME. Retrieved 17 July 2020.
  13. ^ "Lianne La Havas - Bittersweet". COLORSXSTUDIOS.
  14. ^ "Listen: Lianne La Havas Talks "Bittersweet" with Genius". Nonesuch Records. 7 May 2020. Retrieved 13 May 2020.
  15. ^ Walker, Gary (13 July 2020). "The Big Listen: Lianne La Havas – Lianne La Havas". Retrieved 14 July 2020.
  16. ^ "Lianne La Havas Releases Soothing "Paper Thin" Ahead Of New Album". HotNewHipHop.
  17. ^ Newman, Jason (26 June 2020). "Song You Need to Know: Lianne La Havas Covers Radiohead's 'Weird Fishes'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 27 June 2020.
  18. ^ a b c Cragg, Michael (19 July 2020). "Lianne La Havas: Lianne La Havas review – purposeful, tender and bold". The Observer. Retrieved 20 July 2020.
  19. ^ "Lianne La Havas – The New Album out July 17th". Lianne La Havas.
  20. ^ "Lianne La Havas returns with soulful new single 'Bittersweet'". February 26, 2020.
  21. ^ "Lianne La Havas Performs New Single "Paper Thin" On 'Tiny Desk (Home) Concert' [Watch]". L4LM. May 6, 2020.
  22. ^ "iTunes - Bittersweet - Single by Lianne La Havas". iTunes Store.
  23. ^ a b "Lianne La Havas by Lianne La Havas reviews". AnyDecentMusic?. Retrieved 17 July 2020.
  24. ^ a b "Lianne La Havas by Lianne La Havas Reviews and Tracks". Metacritic. Retrieved 6 August 2020.
  25. ^ a b Kellman, Andy (17 July 2020). "Liane La Havas - Liane La Havas | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 31 July 2020.
  26. ^ a b McCormick, Neil (16 July 2020). "This week's best albums: The Chicks, Jarv Is, Ellie Goulding, The Pretenders and Liane La Havas". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 17 July 2020.
  27. ^ a b Johnson, Chloe (16 July 2020). "Lianne La Havas – Lianne La Havas". musicOMH. Retrieved 17 July 2020.
  28. ^ a b Aroesti, Rachel (August 2020). "Rebel Songs". Q (414): 108.
  29. ^ (23 July 2020). "Lianne La Havas - Lianne La Havas". Pitchfork. Retrieved 28 July 2020.
  30. ^ Hodgkinson, Will (17 July 2020). "Lianne La Havas review — perfect summery soul". The Times. Retrieved 11 July 2020.
  31. ^ "Lianne La Havas by Lianne La Havas". iTunes Store.
  32. ^ "Lianne La Havas Exclusive Clear Vinyl + CD - Lianne La Havas". Warner Music Group.
  33. ^ " – Lianne La Havas – Lianne La Havas" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 30 July 2020.
  34. ^ " – Lianne La Havas – Lianne La Havas" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 24 July 2020.
  35. ^ " – Lianne La Havas – Lianne La Havas" (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved 24 July 2020.
  36. ^ " – Lianne La Havas – Lianne La Havas" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 24 July 2020.
  37. ^ " – Lianne La Havas – Lianne La Havas". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2 August 2020.
  38. ^ " – Lianne La Havas – Lianne La Havas" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 24 July 2020.
  39. ^ "Album Top 40 slágerlista – 2020. 30. hét" (in Hungarian). MAHASZ. Retrieved 30 July 2020.
  40. ^ "Official Scottish Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 24 July 2020.
  41. ^ " – Lianne La Havas – Lianne La Havas". Hung Medien. Retrieved 29 July 2020.
  42. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 24 July 2020.

External links


Veröffentlichungen von Lianne La Havas die im OTRS erhältlich sind/waren:

Lianne La Havas

Lianne La Havas auf Wikipedia (oder andere Quellen):

Lianne La Havas (2012)
Lianne La Havas (2012)
Erklärung der Daten
Is Your Love Big Enough?
 DE3027.07.2012(5 Wo.)
 CH3229.07.2012(2 Wo.)
21.07.2012(11 Wo.)
 US14225.08.2012(2 Wo.)
 DE3707.08.2015(2 Wo.)
 AT3214.08.2015(1 Wo.)
 CH1409.08.2015(3 Wo.)
13.08.2015(5 Wo.)
 US5220.08.2015(1 Wo.)
Lianne La Havas
 DE2024.07.2020(1 Wo.)
 AT4431.07.2020(1 Wo.)
 CH626.07.2020(3 Wo.)
 UK730.07.2020(2 Wo.)

Lianne La Havas (* 23. August 1989 in London, England) ist eine englische Folk- und Soul-Sängerin, Songwriterin, Gitarristin und Pianistin.


Die Tochter einer Jamaikanerin und eines Griechen wurde in London geboren. Zu ihren musikalischen Vorbildern zählen Lauryn Hill, Jill Scott und Mary J. Blige.[3][4] Bereits im Kindesalter lernte sie Klavier spielen, schrieb im Alter von elf Jahren ihren ersten Song und lernte mit 18 Jahren Gitarre spielen. Seit 2009 ist sie im Musikgeschäft tätig.[3]

Als Background-Sängerin begleitete sie Paloma Faith auf Tour. Erste Band-Erfahrungen sammelte sie im kurzlebigen Projekt „The Paris Parade“ mit Christian Pinchbeck.[5] 2010 erhielt sie einen Ausbildungsvertrag beim Major-Label Warner und der Künstleragentur CAA.[6] 2011 erlangte La Havas Aufmerksamkeit durch zwei Auftritte im Internet: in den „Black Cab Sessions“[7] und in der „Take Away Show“ der französischen „Blogothèque“.[8]

Im Oktober 2011 trug sie in der BBC-Fernsehshow Later with Jools Holland drei ihrer Lieder vor. In der gleichen Show trat auch die Band Bon Iver auf, die Lianne La Havas für ihre Nordamerika-Tour im Dezember 2011 verpflichteten. Ende 2011 wurde sie für den Newcomer-Preis Sound of 2012 der BBC nominiert.[6]

Im Juli 2012 erschien ihr Debütalbum Is Your Love Big Enough?, das für den Mercury Music Prize nominiert und als „iTunes Album of the Year“ ausgezeichnet wurde.[9] Das Album erreichte in den UK-Charts Platz 4, in den Niederlanden Platz 3.[10]

La Havas arbeitete mit Prince zusammen und ist bei dessen Alben Art Official Age (2014) und HITnRUN Phase One (2015) als Gastsängerin vertreten.

Zurzeit ist sie – gemeinsam mit Alessia Cara – auch als Vorsängerin der aus England stammenden Band Coldplay, welche auf Welttournee ist, im Einsatz.



  • Is Your Love Big Enough? (2012)
  • Blood (2015)
  • Lianne La Havas (2020)


  • No Room for Doubt (mit Willy Mason) (2011)
  • Forget (2011)
  • Lost & Found (2012)
  • Is Your Love Big Enough? (2012)
  • Age (2012)
  • Unstoppable (2015)
  • What You Don’t Do (2015)


  • Lost & Found (2011)
  • Live in L. A. (2011)
  • Forget (2012)


  1. Chartquellen: DE AT CH UK US
  2. Auszeichnungen: UK
  3. a b Jürgen Ziemer: Süße mit Seele. Spiegel Online, 10. Juli 2012
  4. Eric Leimann: Spielen, bis es Sinn ergibt. Interview mit Lianne La Havas auf, 15. Juli 2012
  5. Lianne La Havas auf
  6. a b Christoph Dorner: Lianne La Havas: Sanfte mit Dutt., 13. Juli 2012
  7. Lianne La Havas singt „Age“, Black Cab Sessions, 28. Mai 2011
  8. Chryde: Lianne La Havas. Take Away Show, La Blogothèque, 13. Oktober 2011. Mit Video No Room for Doubt
  9. Barbara Ellen: Lianne La Havas: 'I get pure happiness from making songs'. The Guardian, 26. Mai 2013 (englisch)


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