http://assets-s3.rollingstone.com/assets/images/album_review/laura-mvula-sing-to-the-moon-deluxe-version-2013-1200x1200-1372792055.png Sing to the Moon

Laura Mvula

Sing to the Moon

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5 3.5 0
July 8, 2013

There's no shortage of conservatory-trained female British soul vocalists (see Adele and Amy Winehouse — and that's just the As), but rest assured you haven't heard an album remotely like Laura Mvula's debut. The 26-year-old Birmingham Conservatoire grad fuses jazzy melodics, pop balladry, orchestral flourishes and pleading gospel to astonishing effect — her immaculately crafted LP sounds like Jill Scott, Feist, Tune-Yards and a 1940s film score simultaneously cranking on a vintage gramophone. Mvula's twin muses are love and nature, and she probes their uncertainty and possibilities via theatrical character studies ("She") and doo-wop-charged rave-ups ("Green Garden"). "Is there anybody out there?" she sings on an especially anguished number. There surely will be now.

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