It’s been almost a year since we saw Lucy Rose perform a rough cut of Our Eyes at a free outdoor gig in Dalston (yes, we know how hipster this sounds, but shush). It’s been four years now since her career rocketed thanks to a (still-ongoing) collaboration with Bombay Bicycle Club, and three since her debut LP. After such a long while without releasing new material, some people may expect her to branch out and not make music like she used to.
If a new sound is what you’re expecting, you won’t be disappointed if you make it past, well, the first track of Work It Out. In a song that blends seamlessly in with the vibe of Like I Used To, For You opens the album with her trademark gentle strums, singing softly and eloquently at first, before the song swells up into a frantic, summery dancer.
At the end of the three-minute opener, though, Rose discards the acoustic guitar for most of the album, opting for an electric variation in most of the other tracks, or just leaving the instrument in a dark corner on She’ll Move. There’s a range of sounds and elements in this album that all somehow work together under Rose’s masterful watch.
There’s an obvious influence from So Long, See You Tomorrow in this album too, with songs like Koln and Shelter that sound like last summer, but also combined with some newer, experimental works such as Cover Up, a downtempo work that has an essence of a synthpop tune. Meanwhile the title track develops as a chill, percussion-driven tune overlaid with at least four ambient tracks. Hardly the retiring sort, this one.
The album’s diversity isn’t messy though. Most tracks flow into each other fairly well, and the album’s journey is wrapped up in the final moments. Into the Wild returns to the acoustic style Rose relied heavily on in her debut, whereas Til The End – where she sings “something tells me I have changed for good” – embodies everything that’s musically reflective of that statement on this record. She doesn’t shiver like she used to, but Lucy Rose definitely warms us up in a way we didn’t quite expect.
Work It Out by Lucy Rose can be ordered here.