Laura Mvula’s powerful and nuanced Sing to the Moon was a remarkable album made even more remarkable by the fact that it was her debut. Her second album doesn’t manage the all-out excellence of her first time, but it still a superb album in its own right that shouldn’t be missed.
Much of Mvula’s first album contained songs that were a combination of classical music and jazz, such as ‘Can’t Live with the World’ and ‘Flying without You’. She gives us more of that goodness on the captivating and sensitive ‘Show Me Love’ and the undeniably refined ‘Bread’. But, seeking to expand her sound, she has also tapped the ever-busy Nile Rodgers for sideways funk track ‘Overcome’. Rapper Wretch 32, meanwhile, adds a conscious verse to rousing, biblical harmony ‘People’.
These moments are varied and well executed. But The Dreaming Room is at its best when Mvula truly lets go, as on ‘Let Me Fall’. This track – which originally started life in acoustic form – blends a rhythmic electronic pulse with a percussive canter, topped by Mvula’s pearlescent cries. It’s an absolute marvel. Personally, the record’s latter half can’t quite keep up with the lustre you experience early on, but, ultimately, such a distinction will be academic for most. The Dreaming Room is a bold, mesmerising, wildly creativity turn by an exceptional musician.
The Dreaming Room is out now on RCA Victor/Sony Music.
Image: RCA Victor/Sony Music/PR