Album Review: Lucy Rose – Something’s Changing

For any artist there’s probably a moment of doubt when they begin to wonder: what is the point, does anyone care if I make this or not? Lucy Rose, a talented singer songwriter found herself in that place after her second album failed to make the impact she wanted. She didn’t know how to bring the fire back. So she decided to go off grid and toured South America, staying with fans and playing small gigs. This adventure helped to refocus her music and Something’s Changing is the result.

You can watch the emotional journey she went through in a short documentary on YouTube – she cries a lot but not from sadness, more relief/release. Here she has to learn some truths about her career – forget five star hotels or number one records or stadium tours. What she learns is that music can mean so much more than that. Music is about connecting with people. Maybe not as many people as you dreamed of but there’s still fans out there who need your music and care about you.

It seems mad to think that Lucy had to give up her record deal and walk away in order to make the album that she wanted to make. But being independent gives you freedom, the kind that record labels used to understand, even cultivate. Of course it’s perilous on your own with no safety net. This adventurous spirit and bravery just makes you root for her even before you hear the record. Thankfully Something’s Changing is a delight from start to finish.

The album starts quietly, the opening song is just called ‘Intro‘ but yet this short track sets up the central discussion of the record – how music can help us express how we feel about ourselves, other people, the world. She sings It’s just a song, but would I have told you without it? Music helps us to express things we didn’t even know we felt. It’s how we navigate life – the good, the bad, the happy, the sad. Lucy’s voice is angelic and the music sounds like a harp from above.

Is This Called Home, uses that downbeat sound cultivated by The XX and Daughter, which can often seem cold but here Lucy’s voice never allows that to happen. Did I mention how great a singer she is? Strangest Of Ways is a good bridge from her earlier material but there’s a confidence here, who’d have thought it she sings, let me live in the wild. 

Floral Dresses features The Staves and is the standout track. Just four girls, one guitar, one take. Magnificent. She’s defying the gender stereotypes expected in a relationship but it’s a microcosm of the album as a whole. She’s growing older, she’s going to be exactly who she wants to be, no matter if that’s not what other people want.

Love Song has a more lush organic folkly Americana feeling. To me this is where Lucy really shines. Her voice feels so naturally suited to a song like this, rather than forcing herself into the fad sound of the day like some of her other albums seemed to do. Moirai is another understated gem, full of really lovely melancholy. On ‘No Good At All’ she sings ‘I’m not the oil painting you bought’ and ‘I’m not the perfect vision you once formed’ – almost like she’s talking to her fans and her old record label as much as anyone. Change feels like a positive thing, a way to become more true to herself now the image of perfection has faded.

Find Myself might seem like a cliched name for a track but here it takes on a double meaning – it’s about where we just happen to end up as well as soul searching. Sometimes these things happen to coincide. I know just where I’m going, she sings and you feel optimistic about her eventual destination.

Lucy Rose has found renewed confidence and inspiration on this album and it’s so lovely to listen to, and be a part of, her musical journey of renewal.

 

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