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The Weekend Australian - Review - - Music Reviews - Emily Ritchie

Long Live the An­gels Emeli Sande UMA It’s been a tu­mul­tuous few years for Emeli Sande since the re­lease of her de­but al­bum Our Ver­sion of Events in 2012. While rid­ing the suc­cess of what be­came Bri­tain’s biggest-sell­ing al­bum of that year, the Scot­tish soul diva mar­ried her child­hood sweet­heart, di­vorced him one year later and found new ro­mance with Bri­tish rap­per and pro­ducer Hypo. It’s no won­der her new re­lease shifts into the ter­ri­tory of yearn­ing, lovesick con­fes­sion­als. Long Live the An­gels charts the jour­ney of a woman who is bro­ken yet re­silient. The al­bum con­tin­ues the gospel sound­scape of her de­but with the prom­i­nent in­clu­sion of choral ac­com­pa­ni­ment. On Ten­derly Sande is joined by her fa­ther and cousins, cred­ited as the Serenje Choir, who of­fer a touch­ing re­flec­tion on her Zam­bian an­ces­try. It be­comes over­bear­ing hav­ing a choir fea­tured on al­most ev­ery track, all hand­claps and cin­e­matic crescen­dos, but it’s beau­ti­ful all the same. This al­bum also ven­tures into wider ter­ri­tory than her first. It’s no more edgy, but a broader range of gen­res are ex­plored, in­clud­ing coun­try, R&B and elec­tron­ica. Ev­ery Sin­gle Lit­tle Piece is a sweet coun­try bal­lad, I’d Rather Not is sparse with harp, per­cus­sion and noth­ing else, and Gar­den uses ghostly synths and fea­tures MC Jay Elec­tron­ica. Her voice soars as she de­scribes phys­i­cal and emo­tional pain on the dra­matic lead sin­gle Hurts: shak­ing lig­a­ments, long­ing and lone­li­ness. A high­light is Breath­ing Un­der­wa­ter, which re­tains Sande’s trade­mark bal­ladry and swells with soft beats, scenic strings and the most an­gelic choral back­ing vo­cals of the al­bum.

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