sun 16/12/2018

CD: Jess Glynne - Always In Between | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Jess Glynne - Always In Between

CD: Jess Glynne - Always In Between

A couple of standouts in an otherwise bland mix

Jess Glynne's Always In Between - a safe commercial album

The first release from Jess Glynne’s new album, “I’ll Be There” confirmed the North London singer as the first ever British female artist to have seven no.1 singles in the UK Chart.

She’s been winning MOBOs, Grammys, Brit, Ivor Novello and MTV Awards for the last four years, and while some of the above successes have come from collaborations (major hits with Clean Bandit’s "Rather Be" and Route 94’s "My Love", for example) Jess has become a household name in her own right, with a distinctive sound of big vowels, mad vibrato, gospel underlay and a housey beat. Which is clearly a reliable formula for chart-topping pop hits as Always In Between sounds a lot like her 2015 album, I Cry When I Laugh.

After so many successful co-pros, awards and hit singles, where do you go next? There’s slight anticipation that this new collection might be Jess in her own voice, doing her own thing. "Thursday" gives an inkling of that, a slower song with a more heartfelt, lyrical take on not wearing make-up “cause who I am is enough” and wanting to feel beautiful rather than insecure. "Broken" is another rathermore poetic foray into the personal, with a synthy ballad about “all I ever wanted was a little bit of paradise". It’s the closest thing to intimacy we get before moving swiftly back into the realms of the upbeat hooks, bounce and bass of “Won’t Say No” with “Rollin’” being perhaps the most fun as well as the one I’d most likely sing along to (mainly because of the sweary lyrics which go “fuck your games, this ain’t the way I’m rollin” and lots of “la la la” to a bit of a zumba vibe).

The ongoing formulaic success of her big pop numbers essentially halt the need for a new musical pathway and there’s a definite sense of if it ain’t broken, don’t fix it. While the production values of Always In Between are considerable and Jess' soulful style undeniable, the lyrics are simplistic and the overall flow of the album is indistinctive, if not bland. This is an album of songs that sound like her famous faves. “I’ll Be There” is like “Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself” but without the hook and “All I Am” is exactly like “Hold My Hand” but missing the elation and excitement of the first time round.

After so many co-pros, so many awards, so many hit singles, where do you go next?

rating

Editor Rating: 
3
Average: 3 (1 vote)

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