Laila Biali, Out of Dust - Jazz - Album Review by Marc Louis-Boyard for Slow Culture

Laila Biali, Out of Dust (jazz) – ALBUM REVIEW #21

Out of Dust is a rare tailor-made jewel, as our interview with Laila Biali already suggested. The eleven tracks comprising this album are uplifting stories you can’t miss.

We took our time to review Out of Dust. Intense laziness? No. Lack of time? No. Blank page syndrome? We don’t think so. We at Slow Culture write with the aim of highlighting impressive work the best way possible. Laila Biali’s album is such a showcase of generosity and talent that we couldn’t allow ourselves to write hurriedly.

Already critically acclaimed, Out of Dust is here to stay. Let us tell you why!

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Laila Biali, Out of Dust, our review:

The magic of songwriting and arranging

Laila Biali’s awards and honords list might make you acrophobic, and Out of Dust is expected to perpetuate the tradition.

Do not expect fillers. Every song has its own soul. The whole track list will make you visit the emotional worlds of sweet nostalgia and hope (Au Pays de Cocagne), lust and happiness (Sugar), grief (Wendy’s Song), and so many more. Laila’s real coup de maître on Out of Dust is her ability to write songs mixing these emotional worlds and strip them down to make their subtleties echo. 

Beyond emotions, trained musicians and curious music lovers will value and appreciate the presence of bold time signature changes, of original chord progressions and of various treasures buried in the mix. We listened to the album more than ten times now, and still find beautiful elements emerging.

Surprised cat
A cat casually listening to Wendy's Song for the 45th time and discovering new vocals

The power of eureka moments

This previous paragraph expressed it quite clearly: Out of Dust is an album of many surprises. Within the songs hide multiple eureka moments, these moments where the intensity is so strong that they end up defining the whole spirit of the album. In our case, some of Laila’s eureka moments might have marked us for good. 

Find the most significant example below with Wendy’s Song, the most poignant song on Out of Dust, lyrically and instrumentally.

The crossover case: our opinion

Out of Dust is an album where references to the general musical legacy and Laila Biali’s original style merge. For the best, of course. For most artists, this doesn’t always go right and sound dejà-vu. What can you expect here?

  • Gospel and vivid pop music, with Sugar and Revival (music videos here)
  • NY jazz, with The Baker’s Daughter
  • Chanson française and lyricism, with Au Pays de Cocagne
  • Soulful ballade and smooth jazz with Take Me To the Alley (Gregory Porter).

What can we deduce from this? Elaborated marketing stunt? Indecision? Lack of focus? Leave your potential prejudices at the door and dance.

We call Out of Dust an album of colors, contagious curiosity and enrichment for the soul. There’s no doubt you will too.

Listen and buy here.

Laila Biali, Sugar.

Available now.

  1. Revival 3:58
  2. The Monolith 5:13
  3. Glass House 4:56 $1.29 
  4. Wendy’s Song 4:39 
  5. Sugar 4:13
  6. Alpha Waves 4:08 
  7. Au Pays De Cocagne 4:12 
  8. Take Me to the Alley 5:23 
  9. The Baker’s Daughter 5:24 
  10. Broken Vessels 5:34 
  11. Take the Day Off 03:40
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