Laura Mvula - 'Pink Noise'

7/10

It almost felt like Laura Mvula was about to succumb to the fame trap that so many promising names have fallen into over the years. Despite her debut album 'Sing To The Moon' receiving gold status in 2013 and the artist herself earning numerous accolades for her work, her sophomore LP 'The Dreaming Room' fell short of expectations from a commercial point of view, and she was then dropped by her formative label. Unsure of her next steps, she eventually found her way back into the fold and after five years away, returns with her third full-length 'Pink Noise', a record that sees her break free of her conventional guise.

In the beginning, Mvula was pitched as a safe and progressive pop icon. Her direction was a radio-friendly and commercially acceptable one that allowed her to express herself, but within the confines of her label's expectations of her. Now broken out of that spell, she has been free to explore a more adventurous and passionate realm within her music. As a result, 'Pink Noise' sees her focus more firmly on her influences, channelling a rich and vibrant 80s pop era style, reminiscent of Alexander O'Neill or Patrice Rushen, and reinvent herself within a bold and bouncing pop aesthetic that brims with illuminant energy.

It certainly seems like a far cry from the ideals that made her a success in the beginning, but 'Pink Noise' is simply the result of an artist showing their true colours. No longer locked into what others expect of her, she has been free to pursue her most beloved direction and you can feel that passion throughout every beat.

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