Lucy Rose is used to being known as the unofficial fifth member of Bombay Bicycle Club, singing on two of their albums and accompanying them at most of their gigs. However, the Warwickshire singer’s debut album propels her out of Bombay’s shadow as a very talented singer songwriter in her own right. Bringing together a number of singles and old songs, Like I Used To is a bittersweet collection of songs with emotional messages that most listeners will relate to.
Lyrically, Like I Used To begins as a soundtrack to a particularly painful break-up. Opener Red Face eases the listener in gently with Lucy’s soft vocals but builds up to repeated cries of “take what you wanted, leave what you didn’t leave”, followed by Middle Of The Bed, where Lucy is determined to show she has moved on: “’Cause I’m over it, over you, all over the time I say I love you.” Whether or not she is actually writing from her own experiences, her vocals are so emotionally powerful that her pain becomes your pain as she lets loose on her feelings.
Shiver is the strongest track of the album. With just an acoustic guitar and Lucy’s delicate voice singing about a past love, the song is intrinsically beautiful and shows that her voice alone is enough to hold attention. It is the songs with extra production that fade into the album but Lucy really shines when she’s stripped back to just her singing over her guitar.
Despite the heartfelt sadness running through most of the album, the final song Be Alright, leaves hope that Lucy will be fine. Considering that just last summer she was playing free shows in tiny venues, it has been a rapid rise into the forefront of music, with the album debuting at number thirteen in the album charts. But more importantly, Lucy Rose finally gains the recognition she deserves for being such a gifted singer through what really is an outstanding debut album.