Album Review: Work It Out // Lucy Rose

Lucy Rose’s latest album, Work It Out, is a stellar sophomore effort from the Surrey born singer-songwriter. Taking and building on the delicate vocal prominent in her 2012 debut, Like I Used To, Rose’s vocal abilities have reached new soaring heights.

The record is carefully constructed so that the tracks flow into one another seamlessly, despite a greater fusion of genres. Tracks with more of a poppy, electronic quality include ‘KOLN’ and ‘Cover Up’ – which both boast a staccato-esque vocal reminiscent of HAIM – and single ‘Our Eyes’. The singer herself describes ‘Our Eyes’ as capturing the experience “when someone has done something that has annoyed or upset you, but as soon as your eyes meet you can’t help but smile and forget about it all and make up”.

‘Nebraska’ has a soulful feel to it owing to the echoing backing vocal, whilst other tracks such as ‘Into The Wild’ and ‘Like An Arrow’ retain Rose’s signature acoustic sound. In ‘Like An Arrow’, there’s heartfelt sentiment in abundance as the singer pleads: “oh, won’t you stay with me”, coupled with the familiar strum of an acoustic guitar. The titular ‘Work It Out’ is a tender track showcasing the upper ranges of Rose’s vocal, a song which will undoubtedly get the crowds swaying this festival season. Another crowd-pleaser, owing to the drumbeat is closer ‘Till The End’; this is a track with a real sense of pace – if you’re not tapping your foot in time by the end, then there’s definitely something wrong with you.

There’s a sinister quality to the intro of ‘Shelter’ which mirrors the atmosphere created by instrumentation in Ben Howard’s most recent release, I Forget Where We Were. Rose’s husky vocal is a ghost, struggling to stay atop the hypnotic rhythm, suggesting the singer will have to try hard to make sure she isn’t drowned out when she plays tracks from Work It Out live. However, the pairing of Rose’s vocal to a male counterpart in ‘She’ll Move’ solves this problem, it’s a perfect complement and the track really resonates with the listener as a result.

Overall, Work It Out is a cohesive record and it’s overwhelmingly clear what Lucy Rose set out to achieve with it. The twee singer-songwriter tropes which are found in abundance in her debut have by no means been forsaken, but Rose has definitely taken a distinctive change in direction with this record. This is by no means too drastic a transformation so as to deter existing fans from liking this, but undoubtedly is a tactical manoeuvre by the artist which will allow her to stay afloat in the sea of singer-songwriters for a long while yet.

Rating: 8/10

Work It Out is out on the 6th July

Words by Beth Kirkbride