Four years after their debut, English trio London Grammar returned with their sophomore set, Truth Is a Beautiful Thing, featuring production by Jon Hopkins (Imogen Heap, Coldplay), Paul Epworth (Florence + the Machine, Adele), and Greg Kurstin (Adele, Sia). Once again, vocalist Hannah Reid takes center stage with her powerful, angelic instrument, which can stir the soul at the smokiest depths before jolting everything to the heavens in a fashion much like Florence Welch or Annie Lennox. Dan Rothman and Dominic Major provide lush accompaniment to Reid's voice, creating a gorgeous cinematic landscape that ranges from dreamlike wisps to fully enveloping grandeur. The first half of the album takes time to pick up, as Reid slowly eases listeners into "Wild Eyed," an expansive moment that recalls 2013's "Hey Now." The thumping heartbeat of "Oh Woman, Oh Man" gives the band equal time to shine. Other highlights include the throbbing "Non Believer," the uplifting Florence-esque "Bones of Ribbon," and the sweeping "Leave the War with Me." These tracks provide a much-needed jolt of energy to balance the album's other quieter moments, which tend to lull the listener into a dreamlike haze. While it's an overall relaxing experience, Truth Is a Beautiful Thing is never boring; it's a comforting and often heartbreaking listen that really gets under the skin, especially with Reid's emotive delivery.
Truth Is a Beautiful Thing Review
by Neil Z. Yeung