'Is Your Love Big Enough?'
Lianne La Havas
*** ½ stars
The love song is the most written and performed of all songs, a fact that encompasses most genres. It’s arguably the most popular with audiences. But it’s also a punching bag, often disparaged by critics and laymen alike for being an outpost of cheap sentiment, hackneyed emotionalism and just plain bad lyric writing. A quick look at current music charts reinforces that perspective.
Artists like 22-year-old Lianne La Havas, whose sublime debut CD, "Is Your Love Big Enough?," was released Tuesday, remind us of the power of the artful lyric, the soulful (nonhistrionic) reading of said lyric, and the importance of smart, understated production. London-based La Havas wrote or cowrote all the songs on the album except for her cover of Scott Matthews' "Elusive."