The album is in equal parts an act of self-assertion, genealogical research and homage to the great classics of the genre. A musical masterpiece in which she deftly brings together all the strands of her earlier work. In the beginning was the idea. And if everything was always as seductively simple and easy as the best soul songs sound, then the execution of this idea would probably have been nothing more than child’s play: “I wanted to make a classic soul album,” says Joy Denalane. “Stylistically I was looking for inspiration from the period around the end of the 1960s to 1973.” In that statement lies hidden one of the reasons why we must first rewind a few years if we want to tell the full story of Let Yourself Be Loved, Joy Denalane’s terrific new soul album. The record features the shimmering arrangements, the sumptuousness and the ethereal melodies we associate with this musical genre. But without the long back story, without the problems encountered during the search for the perfect sound and mode of expression, it would have turned out to be a completely different album. One without lightness possibly.