Review of Something's Changing Album by Lucy Rose

Lucy Rose's third studio album is a more delicate and stripped-down affair than her previous records, the title says it all really; Something's Changing. The 29 year-old, who's probably also best known for her occasional contributions to Bombay Bicycle Club, feels more confident and confessional here. It's a sound that really suits her with glimpses of the likes of Carole King hiding under the surface of these eleven songs. The focus is very much on Rose's voice throughout, and that can only be a good thing.

Lucy Rose Something's Changing Album

Recorded in seventeen days in Brighton, Something's Changing doesn't feel rushed or too sparse in its arrangement. It's ambitious when it wants to be with brass and piano creeping in to flesh out the guitar, bass, and drums dynamic of her core band. The guest appearances also don't overwhelm, with subtle flourishes from the likes of Daughter's Elena Tonra and rather importantly two tracks featuring the wonderful harmonies of The Staves. The latter certainly seem to play a key role as their influence seems to extend beyond their contributions to 'Is This Called Home' and 'Floral Dresses'. Rose may well have taken note of The Staves' development as they've worked with Bon Iver's Justin Vernon, it's most apparent as the brass section swells during closing track 'I Can't Change It All'. Rose's heartbreak is enveloped by the strings and trumpets as a slide guitar fades into the background and she sings to a former lover; "I could give you warmth in your darkest nights". At its core that's actually a metaphor for the power of all of the songs featured on Something's Changing.

Lets rewind to the stark and brief introduction to the album though. Rose's voice is accompanied by a harp and she repeats the refrain: "Feeling it all, the good, the bad, the happy, the sad". If these songs act as a cathartic narrative encompassing all of those elements, perhaps it's little surprise that she reaches such a clear-eyed conclusion as the brass section signposts the emotional climax of the album. The material that makes up the body of Something's Changing may fall conveniently into a pretty traditional Folk setting with one eye firmly on the likes of Neil Young's Harvest, but Rose succeeds in making these songs her own. It's her honesty that steers them away from being derivative.

Musically there are some wonderful moments to be found. The time signature changes during 'Is This Called Home' are compelling and perfectly complement the harmonies floating underneath Rose's vocal. Elsewhere the piano balladry of 'Second Chance' or the standout track 'Moirai' shifts as the tracks progress into string led compositions. The latter being a tender lament that Natalie Merchant would be proud of.

You've got to applaud Rose's ability to convey such vulnerability without making the experience overwhelmingly morose. There's a life-affirming sentiment that creeps in throughout Something's Changing making it a very rewarding listen. If her contemporaries have proved anything there's definitely an audience for this kind of Folk, and Rose's album is the best example of home-grown talent excelling at this kind of song writing so far this year.

Lucy shot a fly-on-the-wall documentary to accompany the album, you can see it here:

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