Metascore
73

Generally favorable reviews - based on 24 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 24
  2. Negative: 1 out of 24
  1. Apr 29, 2013
    60
    The sparser moments are undoubtedly tender, but the reverential glow soon dims, and the cliched cries of empowerment don't help. [Apr 2013, p.74]
  2. 50
    Mvula’s keenly awaited debut record is ornate, gentle and clearly composed by someone with vast musical training. So it’s a shame that so much of it sounds lightweight and shallow.
  3. Apr 29, 2013
    60
    For the listener wanting a more reflective experience, 50 sometimes enthralling minutes await. [May 2013, p.94]
  4. Apr 29, 2013
    60
    While unlikely, Mvula's fusions aren't aurally threatening: this remains a woman musing on the vicissitudes of love, while heavenly instrumentation shimmers around her.
  5. Apr 29, 2013
    50
    While Mvula has a great voice and is a skilled musician, she plays it far too safe on her debut LP.
  6. 40
    In places, it's a disastrously over-egged pudding.
User Score
8.9

Universal acclaim- based on 14 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 4
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 4
  3. Negative: 0 out of 4
  1. May 10, 2014
    10
    For me it is definitely the best Pop hybrid album of the last 5 years. I can understand many people not liking this, due to its complete 360°For me it is definitely the best Pop hybrid album of the last 5 years. I can understand many people not liking this, due to its complete 360° twist on contemporary pop music, having different rhythms as only 4/4 (god I love her for that). Each track is sublime and moody and sad and happy and whatnot. But this album is not for inexperienced listeners, it's too complex for some. It's not an "easy-listening" album, and that's why I love it so much. Full Review »
  2. May 18, 2013
    10
    The very first notes on thi album feel like a powerful invocation. The album's baroque, velvet textures and atmospheric ambiance perfectlyThe very first notes on thi album feel like a powerful invocation. The album's baroque, velvet textures and atmospheric ambiance perfectly complement the lush, smoky curls of Mvula's voice. But even more mesmerizing is the way this former choir director sublimely weaves her band mates' voices with her own, helping to make seven people sound like 70. Best debut of 2013, so far. Full Review »
  3. May 5, 2013
    10
    A stunning debut album from a new, young singer from the UK. Imagine a cross between Nina Simone, Bjork and the Beach Boys, but she might beA stunning debut album from a new, young singer from the UK. Imagine a cross between Nina Simone, Bjork and the Beach Boys, but she might be too odd for some tastes.
    To these ears she sounds better than Amy or Adele. When I heard a few tracks early on I was mesmerized and then had to stop listening after a while because I couldn't get them out of my head. It's the voice, the tone, her use of space, and imaginative arrangements,instrumentation and subject matter.
    Full Review »