My biggest concert regret of 2015 was missing Lianne La Havas when she came to Detroit in October to play St. Andrews Hall in support of her second album Blood. La Havas enlisted the production help of Paul Epworth, Stephen McGregor, Mark Batson and her chief collaborator Matt Hales, better known as his recording moniker Aqualung, for her second full length. Hales also released a stellar new Aqualung album in 2015, 10 Futures, that La Havas contributed vocals to on the gorgeous ballad "Eggshells".
The great thing about Blood for me was the different producers all contributed to making the album shine as a whole. Hales along with Jamie Lidell teamed up with La Havas on "Green & Gold", while Hales produced stand out ballads "Wonderful" and "Ghost", as well as my favorite track on the album, the funky "Tokyo". Epworth produced the album opener "Unstoppable" while Batson was responsible for two of the more experimental tracks on the album, "Grow" and "Never Get Enough".
Of course, none of the production would matter without La Havas' shining vocal performances and songs. She co-wrote everything on here save for "What You Don't Do" and plays guitar on most of the tracks as well. On Blood, La Havas mixes in soulful grooves, acoustic tracks, bouncy pop, electronic based R&B and more into an impressive statement and a worthy successor to her acclaimed debut Is Your Love Big Enough? It all adds up to make Blood my #10 Album of 2015.
Favorite tracks: "Grow", "Tokyo", "Green & Gold", "Ghost"
Blood was released July 31st, 2015 on Nonesuch Records.