“I’m walking on thin ice to find who I really am,” sings Lucy Rose, on Work It Out’s fourth track, Nebraska.
Having listened to Work It Out several times now, I’m not entirely sure who she is, either. This much we do know: she’s the owner of a voice strong enough to have persuaded both Manic Street Preachers and Bombay Bicycle Club to include her as a guest vocalist on some of their most successful records, adding some honey-sweetness to great effect.
Recently, too, she covered Taylor Swift’s Bad Blood quite brilliantly for Radio 1, turning the original into something very different and arguably superior.
As a solo artist, though, having a decent voice isn’t quite enough and Work It Out finds the 26-year-old trying on various different musical clothes and never quite settling on one particular outfit.
For You finds her raiding Florence Welch’s wardrobe, Köln is an admirable wander into Haim territory and Shelter is a decent stab at the kind of electronic pop/rock Coldplay nailed on Paradise.
There are forays into bleak electronica too and the folk of debut album Like I Used To, but the best track here, and most obvious single, is Till the End’s winning mix of euphoric dance-pop and introspective lyrics.
Work it Out is by no means a poor album, but it’s by no stretch of the imagination a great one either. If it’s mainstream acceptance she’s after, then a smidgeon more passion, fewer doomy beats and a little more individuality are required.
Like this? Try these: Florence + The Machine, Lungs; Coldplay, Mylo Xyloto
By Andrew Greenhalgh