Album Review: Lucy Rose – Like I Used To (Columbia)

They could quite easily have named Lucy Rose‘s long-awaited début album The Midas Touch, as everything this talented, young musician touches seemingly turns to gold.  Having spent the past 5 years gradually building bit by bit  towards this point.  From working the open mic scene, to relentless touring as the fifth member of Bombay Bicycle Club it has all peaked at precisely the right time for Lucy.  The evidence of this can be seen in the view count for Lucy’s latest single Bikes which was only released last week and has racked up over 430,000 views already.

The overall feel of the ‘Like I Used To‘ is obviously centred around Lucy’s stunning voice which is lithe and intoxicating in its beauty.  However if one criticism were to be levelled at her is that vocally she tends to be a bit one-dimensional only occasionally unleashing her voice.  The album tracks admirably penned and put together are all fairly evenly paced, at time you find yourself urging it to step up a gear.  The biggest difference between the tracks as they are recorded, and how they are played live is how much you notice the impact of her band.  In our live review of Lucy’s appearance recently at The Barefoot Orangery in Gunwalloe, we were amazed by how well her band complimented her sound, but this is at times washed over in the final album tracks.  Guitar player Björn Ågren who makes such an impact on her acoustic rhythms with his intricate lead melodies is tempered somewhat and sounds more like a watered down version of Johnny Buckland.  But I guess the name on the front says Lucy Rose, and not The Lucy Rose Band, so it’s no surprise they ventured down this avenue.

The album kicks off in dramatic fashion with the urgency of guitars strumming entwined with drum beat of ‘Red Face‘, it quickly settles down with Lucy’s calming vocals tempering the track until the mantra like ending where she sings “Take what you wanted, leave what you didn’t need” over and over.  From here the album is well laid out with the familiar singles ‘Middle Of The Bed‘, ‘Lines‘ and newbie ‘Bikes‘ interspersed with tracks that anyone who has seen Rose live over the past couple of years will be acquainted with.  It’s the album tracks that delight the most, Rose’s delicate tones are at their best on the disarming ‘Night Bus‘ and the haunting ‘First‘ a track that Rose admits to not playing live much despite it being one of her favourites.

‘Like I Used To’ will most likely catapult Rose above even the most beloved of her contemporaries like Laura Marling, and if there is any justice in the world will see her at the head of the table of the female acoustic genre for many years to come, the album is close to perfect, any niggles we might have mentioned are really just nit-picking to avoid gushing too much.  It is an absolute privileged to listen to her, and a joy to have seen these songs performed live.

Rating: 9.5/10
Best Tracks: First, Bikes, Place
For Fans Of: Laura Marling, Karima Francis, Rae Morris

Tracklist

  1. Red Face
  2. Middle Of The Bed
  3. Lines
  4. Shiver
  5. Night Bus
  6. Watch Over
  7. Bikes
  8. Place
  9. Don’t You Worry
  10. First
  11. Be Alright

Deluxe version also includes the following songs:

  1. All I’ve Got
  2. Scar
  3. Little Brave
  4. Gamble
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2 thoughts on “Album Review: Lucy Rose – Like I Used To (Columbia)

  1. Lucy Rose is such a massive inspiration! Love all of her songs and hope that she carries on making this wonderful music, and does well in the future! x

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