It’s a shame that so much of the album sounds lightweight and shallow
Birmingham’s Laura Mvula arrives already richly adorned with praise. Nominated for both the Critics’ Choice Award at the Brits and the Sound Of 2013, she’s on a carefully plotted course to follow the likes of Ellie Goulding straight to the heart of daytime radio. Produced by the guy who has helped to successfully duct-tape Rumer to the Radio 2 playlist, Mvula’s keenly awaited debut record is ornate, gentle and clearly composed by someone with vast musical training. So it’s a shame that so much of it sounds lightweight and shallow. Tracks like ‘Green Garden’ and ‘Is There Anybody Out There?’ show off Mvula’s voice, but lack emotional punch. She’ll likely worm her way into plenty of dining rooms with this album, but not into anyone’s hearts.