Album Review: Jess Glynne – I Cry When I Laugh

By on Friday, 4th September 2015 at 12:00 pm
 

Jess Glynne. If you aren’t familiar with the name, you’ll almost certainly be familiar with her voice. The 25-year-old has received credits as a featured vocalist for Route 94 (on ‘My Love’), Clean Bandit (‘Rather Be’) and Tinie Tempah (‘Not Letting Go’), all of which topped the Official UK Singles Chart. Riding high on her success, Glynne launched a successful solo career, which has led to the release of ‘I Cry When I Laugh’.

As the name suggests, Jess Glynne’s debut album is a mixed bag of emotions, with lyrics about heartbreak and pain combined with uplifting melodies. The vast majority of the record consists of piano-heavy, clap-driven tracks, each of which would achieve phenomenal chart success, from the lively, upbeat ‘Ain’t Got Far to Go’ to the chilled, relaxing vibes of ‘Gave Me Something’ and ‘You Can Find Me’. Also dotted throughout ‘I Cry When I Laugh’ are Jess Glynne’s singles, including the infectious ‘Right Here’, pop anthem ‘Hold My Hand’, the second Clean Bandit collab ‘Real Love’ (review here) and ‘Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself’, which gave the singer her fifth #1 single, a feat previously achieved by Cheryl.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=THeLVhU53ow[/youtube]

In addition to the dancefloor fillers, ‘I Cry When I Laugh’ also showcases a softer side to Jess Glynne through Adele-esque ballads such as ‘Take Me Home’: a powerful track with melancholic lyrics (“Would you take the wheel, if I lose control? If I’m lying here, will you take me home?”). Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for ‘Saddest Vanilla (ft. Emeli Sande)’. Despite Jess infusing the gentle number with valiant passion, the track feels like a weak inclusion, especially in comparison to the rest of the album.

Having worked with a range of producers, including Starsmith (Ellie Goulding, Kylie Minogue), Naughty Boy (Emeli Sande, Leona Lewis) and Knox Brown (Beyonce, Jay-Z), it’s difficult to pinpoint Jess Glynne’s sound. As a result, the album feels particularly dysfunctional as a whole. However, as a collection of singles, ‘I Cry When I Laugh’ is a great showcase of Jess Glynne’s immense talent and her vocal range, which meanders from dancefloor anthems to power ballads. A solid debut, but you can’t help but feel the best is yet to come.

7/10

Jess Glynne’s ‘I Cry When I Laugh’ is out now on Atlantic Records. The record will be released in America on the 9th of November.

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