Shrouded in critical acclaim, mystery, hype, and comparisons to the phenomenal FKA twigs, it would appear that Devon-born Rosie Lowe's own talent has set a high for itself to achieve. However, her eagerly awaited début album Control delivers on that expectation.
Harnessing the power of soulful minimalism, Lowe's musical execution on this record is glorious. 'Run Run Run' provides a sparse background as the lightly accented vocal stands out as the main point of focus, and theme recurring throughout the whole record. 'Who's That Girl?' is a brooding and jealous track, with electronics which ebb and flow under subtle percussion as Lowe's vocals play against some additional voices.
Control and Lowe's music more generally has somewhat of a divisive feel, as the its particular composition is common to the majority of tracks, and results in the record being either adored or dismissed. The key word is of course minimalism, if that is a style you can handle, then much enjoyment can be extracted, if not listening may prove boring and tedious.
Title track 'Control' is slightly discordant as electronic sounds interplay both with and against each other, once again highlighted by considered percussion injects and laced throughout with Lowe's engaging vocals. 'Woman' starts off along the same track as BANKS but evolves into an undeniably unique track, which explicitly discusses the struggles of modern day womanhood, raising some vital points that transcend the beauty of the track itself. 'INTRLD' is a pounding interlude track, leading into decidedly more conventional 'So Human' which features expanded instrumentation and an atmosphere of self-confidence. Providing a stand out track, 'Right Thing', from the preceding EP of the same name makes a welcome appearance here, an engaging track accented with piano and moderately soaring vocal and electronic contributions.
'For You' brings Control to a spirited end, and conflicting layers of music fight for dominance before fading away into a satisfying conclusion. Whilst this brand of "soulful minimalism" won't be to everyone's tastes for recreational listening, Rosie Lowe has produced a record of superb musical quality which has complete control over the concepts of atmosphere and composition.