Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 26 October 2014

Laura Izibor - Let The Truth Be Told (Atlantic)

Pretty special debut

Laura Izibor

Good things come to those who wait. And wait we have. This album from the hotly tipped young Dubliner was set to be released on Jive Records three years ago, but got shelved. Then, another label, Atlantic, took their time in deciding just when it should see the light of day.

Now, at last it's here — and it's a cracker. Laura Izibor is still only 21, but already she's an industry veteran. She won a 2FM song contest while still at school and signed to Jive at 17.

It all should stand her in good stead because, unless I'm very much mistaken, this album is going to be huge. And I mean, properly massive, with the US market there for the taking.

Of course, such predictions can fall flat, but it's difficult to see that fate for this debut — a remarkable statement of intent that showcases a quite beautiful voice.

Expressive and powerful, the Rathfarnham singer is blessed with vocals to elevate even the most banal song.

Not that her voice needs to compensate for weak compositions here — the bulk of these 10 soul songs, mainly written by Izibor, are very well crafted.

The opening three songs would represent a remarkable calling card for any young singer.

Shine — originally written for forgettable rom-com The Nanny Diaries — should soundtrack summer '09.

Don't Stay has all the hallmarks of a soul classic — beautifully produced, the lush arrangements only serve to complement a magnificent vocal performance.

If Tonight Is My Last is a tender ballad that manages to avoid slush.

Granted, the album runs out of steam towards the end and some of it feels a little too samey, but, as highly anticipated debuts go, this is pretty special.

Next stop: the big time.

Burn it: Shine; Don't Stay

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