#NewMusicFriday: ‘Always In Between’ by Jess Glynne

Although diverse and wide-ranging, the Hold My Hand singer’s sophomore release is generic, pandering pop which for the most part lacks impact and distinction – ★★★

There was something promising about Always In Between. With just under half of the tracklist for Glynne’s debut being taken up by singles we’d heard before, the new sounds of I Cry When I Laugh were overshadowed by the déjà vu of the old. Her follow-up was destined to be fresh, unheard of and a continued exploration of new directions for the London musician, yet the end result was a lot more underwhelming.

Alexis Petridis of The Guardian sums up the mediocre nature of the album well in his review. The second album should always offer a sense of progression, which Always In Between offers, albeit through the popular vocal styles and musical genres of the day. There’s ballads such as Insecurities for the Adele fans, while Never Let Me Go blends the Sheeran-esque guitar melodies with the harsh trap which has been dominating pop music lately.

Once again, it’s the singles which pack the punch on the record. Hit-makers Rudimental make These Days a vibrant summer jam, while talented singer-songwriter Frances lends a helping hand on the stripped-back pop track All I Am. 123 has a sense of soulful familiarity to it that we’ve probably heard before, while I’ll Be There has hard-hitting drums and catchy yodel-like vocals. The final single, Thursday – released a day before the album – is a refreshing, soft track away from the usual vibrant, loud sounds.

Glynne’s portfolio of hits is testament that there’s a winning formula there somewhere working with a phenomenal voice, yet Always In Between lets this descend to a point of disappointing blandness. It’s a comfortable background listen, but for a voice like Glynne’s, it should be one which commands your attention.

Always In Between is available now.

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Musical Discovery: ‘Real Love’ by Clean Bandit feat. Jess Glynne

Real Love is the second collaboration between Clean Bandit and Jess Glynne. As predicted, it does not disappoint!

Immediately the song starts with the soulful vocals of Glynne that works so well with a variety of different musical genres. Then, with the addition of a light-hearted piano riff, listeners know that this single will be another feel-good track that follows in the footsteps of Rather Be.

Despite the song continuing with a weird tempo at first, the song then descends into the dance side of the perfect orchestral-dance balance. The chorus contains brilliant layers of electronic dance that add together to make a memorable chorus.

Then the song allows for Jess Glynne’s solo, which is another chance for the artist to showcase the versatile soul that gives her vocals a unique feel. This song is a brilliant collaboration once more between the two artists, which is likely to reach the same, if not greater, success as Rather Be.

What do you think of the single? Do you think it is as good as Rather Be? Comment below!

Liam