Laura Mvula – Pink Noise (2021) [FLAC 24bit/44,1kHz]

Laura Mvula – Pink Noise (2021)
FLAC (tracks) 24bit/44,1kHz | Time – 37:33 minutes | 468 MB | Genre: Pop, R&B
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Atlantic Records UK

Pink Noise is the third studio album by British singer Laura Mvula, released on 2 July 2021 through Atlantic Records. It follows five years after The Dreaming Room, released in 2016. The album was preceded by the singles “Safe Passage” and “Church Girl”, the latter of which was issued along with the album announcement.

Getting dropped by a label is practically a rite of passage for an artist, but it’s likely that Laura Mvula is the only one to receive the news by email after delivering a Top Ten U.K. debut and an Ivor Novello Award-winning follow-up, both of which were nominated for the Mercury Prize. That’s where the singer, songwriter, and producer found herself in 2017. Four years later and with another major label, Atlantic instead of Sony, she rebounds with Pink Noise. It’s a wounded if proud and defiant response that draws from vintage high-tech R&B and art pop — the 1982-1987 era with greatest frequency — with all sharp edges melted off. “Got Me” is all bounding romantic jubilance like Michael Jackson’s “The Way You Make Me Feel.” “Remedy” and “Pink Noise” work low-end cyclonic synthesizers recalling the System and Kashif. INXS-via-Chic guitar wriggles spring up in the latter and elsewhere. A soundtrack for a neon-rich film set in the mid-’80s would do well to feature “Safe Passage,” an anthem of independence that gleams and pops, and the duet “What Matters,” a tears-in-the-food-court love theme. Mvula’s writing is typically to the contrary of what might otherwise sound like an escapist fantasy. The sting of rejection and betrayal, and regret over ceding control, are felt in many of the songs, though she’s never so specific that the average listener can’t relate. She laments “A provisional kindred soul/Another blow to the ego” in the prowling verses of “Conditional,” confronts and teases a fraud in “Church Girl” with “How can you dance with the devil on your back,” then delivers an unequivocal protest song with the urgent and scathing “Remedy.” While all of those moments are remarkably powerful, Mvula finds another gear for “Golden Ashes,” a pulsing and towering ballad that could fill a stadium. Born of dejection, it takes aim at “them scary power people” yet alludes to not just survival but immortality, her voice more robust than ever. “Lemons into lemonade” is an understatement. – Andy Kellman

1. Laura Mvula – Safe Passage
2. Laura Mvula – Conditional
3. Laura Mvula – Church Girl
4. Laura Mvula – Remedy
5. Laura Mvula – Magical
6. Laura Mvula – Pink Noise
7. Laura Mvula – Golden Ashes
8. Laura Mvula – What Matters (feat. Simon Neil)
9. Laura Mvula – Got Me
10. Laura Mvula – Before The Dawn