Album Reviews

Lucie Silvas – Breathe In

(Mercury) UK release date: 11 October 2004

Lucie Silvas - Breathe In A few years ago, it would have been absurd to suggest that Radio 2 would be a major influence on the record buying public. Quiet FM? With its roster of DJs of pensionable age? The home of Steve Wright and Jimmy Young? The home of David flippin’ Jacobs?

Times have changed though, and with the arrival of talented broadcasters such as Mark Radcliffe, Jonathan Ross and Jeremy Vine, your mum and dad’s favourite station has now almost become fashionable. Indeed, it can even claim credit for breaking several new acts, such as Norah Jones and Jamie Cullum.

Say what you like about Jones or Cullum’s music but they are both extremely talented artists. Yet it’s not all good news. Radio 2 has also single-handedly inflicted the drab yet inexplicably popular Katie Melua, and now along comes another favourite of Terry Wogan, Lucie Silvas.

One quote on the CD sleeve describes Silvas as a “cross between Pink and Alicia Keys“. The reality though is far less feisty – Beverley Craven is probably the more appropriate comparison. Breathe In is packed with insipid piano ballads that almost redefine the word ‘drippy’. Silvas does have a nice voice (although comparing her to Christina Aguilera, as her press release does, is surely stretching things a bit), but over a course of a full album her style becomes a little wearying.

On the positive side though, she does have an ear for a memorable tune. The title track in particular has a lovely Corrs-like chorus and is one of the more upbeat songs on the album. The single What You’re Made Of is also a highlight, with the excellent production lending the song a very dramatic air. The inclusion of a cover version of Metallica‘s Nothing Else Matters is, if nothing else, very brave, considering the huge amounts of wrath that’s she bound to attract from hardcore metal fans!

So in small doses, Lucie Silvas is fine. However, with a lack of variety amongst the tracks on her debut album, she’s going to have to be careful not to be dubbed a one-trick pony. Tracks such as Like You Love Me and Last Man Standing drift in pleasantly, hang around for a couple of minutes and float off again, leaving no discernible impression.

Breathe In could accurately be described as aural wallpaper. Silvas will undoubtedly become the star that her record company are banking on her being. She’s young and attractive, while her target audience isn’t looking for anything particularly cutting edge or challenging so therefore this will probably sell bucketloads. It would just be nice to hear a bit of soul and depth in these polished, professional, yet ultimately bland songs.

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More on Lucie Silvas
Lucie Silvas – The Same Side
Lucie Silvas: “I had to keep giving myself pep talks last year” – Interview
Lucie Silvas @ Shepherd’s Bush Empire, London
Lucie Silvas – Breathe In