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Something’s Changing, the third record from British singer songwriter Lucy Rose, was recorded on the back of a rather romantic story. Chronicling the singer-songwriter’s travels across South America, Rose reached out to her fans on twitter who agreed to host and book gigs for her throughout the continent in exchange for her musical company.
It’s all very lovely really, and it’s hard not to have a soft spot for her after watching the twenty minute long documentary she filmed to go along with the album’s release.
Her abject artistic insecurity, her sincerity in seeing the joy and comfort her music has brought to her predominantly young fan base, and many, many clips of her crying. That coupled with her willingness to drop her former record label Columbia records and go out on her own for this one, it’s all quite endearing.
As the album title would suggest, there’s a lot of change going on in the singer’s life. But much like the harp which features on the opening track, it’s a promise that fails to deliver. The record opens with a minute and a half of Lucy’s saccharine elucidation that the listener is about to embark on a journey of “feeling it all/oh the good/the bad/the happy the/the sad”, accompanied by sparse strums of a classical harp, an instrument that features nowhere else on the album. Then begins the slow fold back into the cutsie folk pop mould that earned the artist her following back in the ‘Shiver’ days of 2012.
The result is an album that’s kind of a drag. Drowning in platitudes and worn out lyricism that are seldom made up for by means of musical accomplishment. Rarely improving on silence.
Half way through, during the insufferable ‘Love Song’,( “It was true, true, true love/oh it was real, real, real love”) I consider making a Lucy Rose drinking game in which I drink every time the words “kiss” “love’ or “baby” are uttered. But resolved that that would probably be falling outside the realms of constructive criticism.
Rose is undoubtedly talented, with a gift for making melodies that appeal to a mass audience, and an undeniable musical ability. She’s good to her fans and her music genuinely seems to speak to them. And what is music about if not providing enjoyment, comfort and connectivity for people? But there are moments when she could have aimed to work a little harder. Lyrics like “hey baby, won’t you let me come and kiss you all night long” feel as dry and meaningless as the fabled working lyrics employed by Lennon and McCartney in the initial writing stages of the track ‘Yesterday’, “Scrambled eggs, oh my baby how I love your legs”.
Given the context, Something’s Changing should rightfully have been a time for taking risks. The end product is a record that was bland, safe and forgettable. Borne from circumstances that were seemingly the opposite of all of those things. Disappointing.
FOUR OUT OF TEN
Catch Lucy Rose at Whelans on November 11th