Album Review: Celeste - Not Your Muse

Harry Linley reviews the highly anticipated debut album from British singer-songwriter Celeste.

Harry Linley
15th February 2021

Not Your Muse is an album about reflection and empowerment, an equal-parts serious and satirical take on the highs and lows of human relationships. The simplicity of Not Your Muse, mistaken by some as the result of the capitalistic soul-pop formula, is testament to the album’s lyricism and bravery. Celeste’s music is far from bland, she is one of the most innovative British soul artists in a generation.

As a result, Celeste has been relentlessly compared to Amy Winehouse and Adele. But apart from all being British, talented, and female, the similarities are not extensive. 'Love is Back' does however have the brass swag of Mark Ronson’s work with Winehouse.

Fans will already be familiar with most of Not Your Muse, with many of the tracks released prior to the album’s debut. Even those that have never heard of Celeste, will likely recognise 'Never Stop This Flame' from Sky Sports or 'A Little Love' from the John Lewis Christmas advert.

Winning both the Brit Award for Rising Star and the BBC Introducing Artist of the Year in 2019, Celeste’s breakthrough was tipped for 2020. But 2020 was no one’s year and like her music, Celeste is never one to rush. The class of her jazz-infused sound comes from taking its sweet time, utilizing under-singing in softer moments, and exposing vulnerability by allowing her voice to crack. Unless you are a member of Zuckerberg’s Reptilian Elite, I defy anyone to listen to Not Your Muse and not be moved.

(5/5)

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