Spin - "On 'Angel,' Mvula sings about the end of her marriage with unexpected optimism, in her brightest choral timbre....'Phenomenal Woman,' her enthusiastic tribute to the feminist spirit, propels like a new-wave banger..."
Mojo (Publisher) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "[T]here's a positivity, determination and spirit....The message is writ large: 'Even though we suffer, come together, be brave.'"
The Dreaming Room is somehow more sumptuous and emotive than Sing to the Moon, Laura Mvula's impressive 2013 debut. Written and produced primarily with Troy Miller, who she met while working on the soundtrack for 12 Years a Slave, it's another categorically evasive set that updates and amalgamates traditional forms of blues, jazz, R&B, and orchestral pop. For all its unearthly charm, it nurtures the soul. Mvula's rich voice prances across songs of perseverance, salvation, survival, hope, and pride. Everything is transmitted with a contagious form of optimism, even in darker moments like "People," where Mvula mourns "They strip us down and rape our minds, our skin was a terrible thing to live in," then marvels "How glorious, this light in us," her words accentuated with a congruent verse from Wretch 32. The only other guest appearance comes from Nile Rodgers, whose golden and unmistakable rhythm guitar is threaded throughout "Overcome," one of the many highlights of this powerful album. ~ Andy Kellman