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Music _LondonGrammar2017

Published on June 16th, 2017 | by voxx

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London Grammar – Truth Is A Beautiful Thing

Expansively intimate return from the dream-pop trio…

London Grammar took such a complete break after their 2013 debut that some fans thought they’d disbanded. Truth Is A Beautiful Thing is their return, a long sigh of a record that questions existence, perspective and love at every turn. Full of big sounds that are somehow also very intimate, each track sounds like a finale so expansively cinematic you expect credits to roll (particularly as the Jon Hopkins-produced ‘Big Picture’ builds and falls away).

Despite the influence of big-name pop producers Greg Kurstin (Sia, Ellie Goulding, Kelly Clarkson) and Paul Epworth (Adele, Florence + The Machine, Rihanna), it’s light on pop hits. But the hymnal chorus of ‘Oh Woman Oh Man’ is somewhere approaching a hook, while ‘Hell To The Liars’ (a song title that’s about as tempestuous as London Grammar get) swells with a final night of a festival feel. As ever, singer Hannah Reid’s vocals are the main event. Singing like she has a permanent lump in her throat, her folk-tinged melismas rise and fall throatily over her bandmates’ dreamy trip-hop-lite accompaniments.

The music itself, a combination of gentle piano and tremulous, echoing synth, is mesmerisingly samey, like scenery rushing past your car window on a long road trip. It’s the kind of contemplative album that makes you think you can write poetry. The truth is not always a beautiful thing, of course. But this album frequently is.

- By Jake White


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