#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: ‘Take Me Home’ by Jess Glynne

Last week, Adele returned with Hello – a track with mellow piano chords and pure soul. Now, it seems as though other artists are keen to follow suit. One of the latest singers to release a soulful single is Jess Glynne, with Take Me Home.

For a while, Jess’ songs have all been the usual upbeat track similar to her debut track with Clean Bandit – Rather Be. After that, Real LoveHold My HandRight Here and Don’t Be So Hard on Yourself all continued the vibrant, upbeat pop style. But now, Jess Glynne has leant her vocals to a song with a more sombre tone, with Take Me Home being revealed as being this year’s official Children in Need single.

Upon listening to the track, there’s certainly some similarities in both the song and the music video. From the first few seconds there’s light piano chords which are like the opening chords to Hello by Adele. Then, in terms of the melody and the video, both can be seen as being similar to Jessie J’s Who You Are, especially when Jessie and Jess both share a similar vocal range.

Then, with simple piano chords and a relaxed drum beat, it’s these vocals which really make the song unique. The chorus contains emotive lyrics and a memory melody. Whilst the piano melody and drum beat remain uniform throughout the song, the pace of Jess’ vocals varies throughout the song. It is this creativity which really add the emotion to this song.

On a separate note, it is also the music video which really adds to the mood of the song. Both audio and visual work together to create something different for the singer.

What do you think of this track? Comment below!

Liam