Jess Glynne – I Cry When I Laugh [Album Review]

Pop music fans of all doctrines, you’re in for a treat with British powerhouse Jess Glynne’s debut album I Cry When I Laugh; this one has something for everyone.

Breaking onto the scene in early 2014 as the featured artist on Clean Bandit’s smash “Rather Be,” the golden voiced Glynne is now ready for her moment. A two year journey in the making, this solo project finds Glynne working tirelessly to blend unique sounds and approaches all in the name of delivering a thoroughly personal product. That time devoted and commitment to is wholly evident throughout the 14 track achievement.

We’ve been fortunate enough already to hear a smattering of official previews. There’s lead single “Right Here” and the follow-up “Real Love” [a joint effort with her friends Clean Bandit again], two deep-house monsters that will get the blood flowing. Then you have one of the many standouts “Hold My Hand,” a disco-pop chart-topper and insta-fave to keep it pumping. Rounding out the formal releases was a spin on the traditional “break up” song, “Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself,” flourishing in upbeat yet soulful rhythms and melodies.

Unofficially speaking, we’ve been offered sneak peeks at a choice few more, starting with an acoustic version of “Ain’t Got Far To Go,” again designed to get the listener on their feet, ready to chime along with the powerful anthemic chorus. “Why Me”, a smooth midtempo groover scintillates with an undercurrent of raw emotion. And then you have last week’s release of “Gave Me Something,” another charged take right out of a Sunday morning service.

The rest of the album’s red-letter fare is just as accessible and exciting, if not more. Intro “Strawberry Fields” is a slow burning R&B stream of harmonious consciousness that sets a certain penetrating mood, I Cry’s common denominator. The ballads “Take Me Home” and “Saddest Vailla” [which happens to be the only song to feature another artist, the incomparable Emeli Sandé] follow in a similar fashion, albeit in more traditionally structured effusions of yearning. Perched comfortably at the halfway mark, “Love Me” is another midtempo cut driven by her sultry intonations. “You Can Find Me” switches the pace up once again with an old school ‘Minneapolis in the 80’s’ flair while “No Rights No Wrongs” continues that head-nodding cheer with a jazzy double time beat.

As you can see there’s a full range of styles and personality presented for your consumption here, but it’s the intimate touch demonstrated on each and every track that shines through and makes this debut so special. Without a doubt this is the finest full-length release of 2015. I Cry When I Laugh is out now via Atlantic!

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