Sing to the Moon - Laura Mvula

Generally favorable reviews - based on 24 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 24
  2. Negative: 1 out of 24
  1. Sep 5, 2013
    Sing to the Moon is a bold and beautiful debut: airy and dense, soul and jazz, dark and light. Head in the clouds, toes in the dirt.
  2. Jul 8, 2013
    Her immaculately crafted LP sounds like Jill Scott, Feist, Tune-Yards and a 1940s film score simultaneously cranking on a vintage gramophone.
  3. Jun 13, 2013
    The formula that made "She" a success is replicated until it's been wrung dry of any emotion. [Jun-Jul 2013, p.94]
  4. Jun 6, 2013
    The album's first half is suffused with a longing that flits between hopeful and resigned, unsure which is the worse fate. At other times, she sounds a little exasperated--mournful even--but throughout, her elegant arrangements remain taut and full of energy.
  5. May 20, 2013
    Mvula's music hearkens back to an earlier era than that of her many British contemporaries: She hovers on the edge of pop, but the majority of her songs are too reserved to fully break through.
  6. May 13, 2013
    It's a solid album from Mvula, but "beguiling potential" only begins to describe the musical authority this debut merely alludes to.
  7. May 9, 2013
    All in all, a bewitchingly beautiful debut.
  8. Apr 29, 2013
    Her songs move from yearning and questioning to seizing an insight and turning it into an incantation.
  9. Apr 29, 2013
    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]
  10. Apr 29, 2013
    Whether as the fanfare arrival of a unique new voice or the peculiar indulgence of a future cult classic, this is an album that has to be heard to be believed.
  11. Apr 29, 2013
    The album--an immaculately drawn piece of jazz-inflected pop--is loaded with such originality that Mvula's carved out a niche of her own in 2013's musical landscape.
  12. Apr 29, 2013
    The lightness of Mvula's touch is shown by the fact that even the most leaden songs here have a moment where they catch fire.
  13. 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.
  14. Drawing on anything from Medieval plainsong to free jazz, she creates an extraordinary sensation of light, air, and space.
  15. Apr 29, 2013
    Arrangements are marked by clarity, one thing easing into another in a beautifully measured fashion.
  16. Apr 29, 2013
    Although it's more admirable than it is enjoyable, Sing to the Moon marks the arrival of a unique and major talent--one with a commanding voice seemingly from another dimension--who should be worth watching for many years to come.
  17. Apr 29, 2013
    For the listener wanting a more reflective experience, 50 sometimes enthralling minutes await. [May 2013, p.94]
  18. Apr 29, 2013
    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.
  19. Apr 29, 2013
    While Mvula has a great voice and is a skilled musician, she plays it far too safe on her debut LP.
  20. 40
    In places, it's a disastrously over-egged pudding.
  21. 85
    Some will appreciate the record for the bursts of soul-infused pop, others will take time to grasp the tiny details and appreciate the deeper layers of Sing To The Moon.
  22. Apr 29, 2013
    Packing a brassy punch, the tracks still manage to twinkle elegantly, rich in harmony with hymnal touches.
  23. Apr 29, 2013
    It thrives on cosy familiarity, on records that remind listeners of other records: Sing to the Moon feels more ambitious than that.
  24. Apr 29, 2013
    This is an outstanding debut album that really does leave you looking forward to what may come next.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 12 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
    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
    The 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
    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 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 »