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.