Thrust into the spotlight after being shortlisted for the 2016 BBC Critic’s choice award; the vibrant Izzy Bizu must have been a moment of sanity for the award which celebrates the beigest of beige pop artists.
Listening to a A Moment of Madness it is clear that London-based Izzy Bizu is soulful, authentic, and full of character; components not often compared with those ‘blessed’ by the omen of The BBC award. The 22-year-old’s debut album is strikingly intimate and Bizu translates key stages in a relationship with transparency and earnestness. With softened husky vocals, complementing mellowed, jazz inspired production, it is clear how Ella Fitzgerald and Amy Winehouse have been large influences.
The first few tracks of the album render the notion of idolising a person to great heights. The opening track ‘Diamond’ is a ballad which tracks the heart ache of this as she sings: “You’re a diamond in the rough… you’re a diamond I can’t touch” while the summer anthem ‘White Tiger’ tracks the ecstasy and fun of worshipping someone. ‘Skinny’ another upbeat highlight, is a celebration for all us lanky gym dodgers, as she sings “I saw him checking me from the bar, he works out but it’s you that I really want” over sultry brass accompaniments.
‘Give Me Love’ is disguised as little more than a classic pop number with hasty rolling percussion but lyrically Bizu is pining over a lost lover. This masking of heartbreak through vocal high notes and jazzy production is a theme which flows throughout the first half of A Moment of Madness featuring on the single ‘Adam and Eve’ and the track ‘Glorious’. This facade is stunningly unfolded on the beautifully overt single ‘Mad Behaviour’ as she turns the attention to her own insecurities singing: “You have the most beautiful soul I’ve ever seen so why am I venom and green?”.
A Moment of Madness is a welcome and refreshing introduction to an artist who poignantly lays bare her emotions across 13 tracks. Time could well be Izzy Bizu’s greatest utility. This album debuts an artist maturing and showcases what she could amount to through teasing elements of soulful, pop grandeur.