Album Review

Olivia Dean - Messy

For a record titled ‘Messy’ it could ironically do with being a little less neat and tidy.

Olivia Dean - Messy

If nothing else, the timing of Olivia Dean’s debut - during the warmest weeks of the British meteorological calendar - is ideal: with its nods to neo-soul and jazz, its bright sounds are exactly the kind reached for when opting for sun-drenched barbecue soundtracks, or to blast from speakers while travelling towards the coast. On the likable summery pop front, Olivia Dean has it made, sitting somewhere alongside the less disco side of Jessie Ware, or the more subdued songs of early Adele: it’s perfectly pleasant, and like those predecessors pulls from a wide spectrum to avoid sounding dated. But what ‘Messy’ delivers in shimmering soul-pop songs, it’s not until closer ‘Carmen’ that much of Olivia herself seems to be heard: the line “Stronger than I’ll ever be / Never got a Jubilee” saying more in its few syllables than the singer seems to during the other eleven tracks combined. In fact, it’s what seem to have been included as throwaways - interlude ‘Getting There’ and the short-but-sweet ‘I Could Be A Florist’ - that prove the record’s more interesting offerings. For a record titled ‘Messy’ it could ironically do with being a little less neat and tidy.

Tags: Olivia Dean, Neu, Reviews, Album Reviews

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