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Lauv: All 4 Nothing review – a partial progression

When singer-songwriter Ari Leff, AKA Lauv, released his debut album in 2020, it played like a marathon. At 21 tracks long, How I’m Feeling explored millennial malaise and melancholy through repetitively mid-tempo pop – as if reflecting the subject of Leff’s lyrics through the listening experience itself.

Mercifully, Leff’s return on All 4 Nothing sees him editing his soul-searching down to 13 songs, with an emphasis now on joy as well as dejection. The title track is a perfect marriage of Leff’s gossamer falsetto with lyrics about an all-encompassing love, while the embattled I (Don’t) Have a Problem explodes with rhythmic energy.

There are memorable hooks too: the yearning vocals of Stranger and the Charlie Puth-esque funk of Time After Time. Yet, for each highlight there are a handful of fillers. Hey Ari plays like a cut-price Ed Sheeran in its sing-song folk; Molly in Mexico plods along, failing to reach a convincing crescendo; and First Grade sinks into sleepy balladry. While All 4 Nothing marks a partial progression for Leff, he still has some way to go to make his records memorable – whether they stand at 21 tracks or a baker’s dozen.

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