Comprised of three members- Hannah Reid on vocals, and with Dan Rothman and Dominic Major responsible for the production end of things, London Grammar are never going to be chat-toppers, I don’t think that’s what they’re all about, so despite poor single sales and with nothing more than a Disclosure collab to promote themselves, they did remarkably well to get to number two with If You Wait. London Grammar are a very individual act, they’re different, they have a new sound and I was interested to see how their debut would fair.
It’s good. I enjoyed If You Wait, Reid has a great voice and the production is subtle, understated and doesn’t need to be anything more than it is- it’s an intelligent, measured album. Opening track Hey Now, and the even better Flickers, are the tracks that encapsulate this trait the most, with often a plucking of a bass guitar being the make-up of the track- the backing vocals also used towards to end of this song are also a clever addition to note.
Throughout the album you draw a vast array of comparisons, from The xx, Haim, Massive Attack and Florence and The Machine, but it’s even more curious, again subtle, aspects to If You Wait which make the album that all the more interesting- take Shyer for example, you can hear a very slight hint of a steel drum behind the clouds of Reid’s vocals. Wait, is this a happy song? Or is this a powerful song? Where is this going? It’s hard to tell.
London Grammar’s If You Wait is certainly an acquired taste, I think that the vast majority will dismiss the group as dull, for those people; tracks like Metal & Dust and possibly their most popular song above- Strong are best suited to you. For those of you who can stick around for the rest of If You Wait, it’s an excellent album, one that much like Woodkid’s The Golden Age, felt like a film score- an album that had been created against crystal clear imagery, If You Wait is more than worth a listen.
Verdict – WWWV