Jess Glynne‘s voice is one that you should be beyond familiar with at this point, thanks to a string of hit singles including the Grammy-winning worldwide smash “Rather Be” with Clean Bandit. In her native U.K., she’s already had five number one singles: “My Love” with Route 94, “Hold My Hand,” “Not Letting Go” with Tinie Tempah, and “Don’t Be So Hard on Yourself,” giving her the most chart-toppers ever for a female solo artist. Basically, everything that Jess Glynne has touched has turned to gold. She’s standing on top of the world, right where she should be—see what i did there?
With all this slayage, you’d think that her debut album, I Cry When I Laugh, would follow suit. However, unlike the impressively consistent quality of her hit singles, Glynne‘s debut is a much more mixed affair that unfortunately suffers from its lack of clear musical direction. The problem is that the variety of producers and arrangements here struggle to marry Glynne‘s dance-driven singles with the rest of the lengthy 20-track deluxe version of the record, making it difficult to tell what Jess Glynne‘s “thing” really is. In that sense, the LP lives up to its title: It’s a mixed bag of emotions.
Tracks such as the soulful “Ain’t Got Far to Go,” throwback earworm “You Can Find Me,” and the repetitive “Love Me,” though enjoyable, fall a bit flat when they’re tossed in around the standout singles. A simple tracklist rearrangement could be a smart fix but ultimately, I Cry When I Laugh never really manages to reach its full potential.
Glynne‘s voice and the singles are undoubtedly of the highest quality, but there’s no getting around the fact that this album is slightly underwhelming. It’s a real shame, because a major lack of cohesion is the only misfire on what is mostly a polished and uplifting debut album from an undeniably talented diva. 3.5/5
(Original Review: Next Magazine)
BUY Jess Glynne’s debut studio album I Cry When I Laugh on iTunes now!