Album Review: Jess Glynne Showcases Powerhouse Vocals and 'Feel Good' Anthems Debut Album

(Atlantic Records)

Jess Glynne first caught the attention of mainstream music listeners with her feature in “Rather Be” with Clean Bandit. The singer’s vocal range became the spotlight in the song as the background music faded out.  “Rather Be” was Florence + The Machine’s “Dog Days Are Over” with stronger, cleaner vocal talent; Jess Glynne was put on the map. Her new album “I Cry When I Laugh” dropped in the U.S. this past Friday. The record holds the whimsical song of “Rather Be” with jazz and pop sounds that all together create an upbeat vibe.

“Hold My Hand” is one song to duly note. Not only is it the most popular song on iTunes since its release; it also holds potential to be her next radio hit. Recorded background vocals and a steady piano-turned-pop beat blend with unique lyrics. Glynne sings, “Standing in a crowded room and I can’t see your face… Won’t you understand? ‘Cause I don’t wanna walk alone.” She explains the emotional process of wanting someone in your life in order to avoid loneliness or a life without that person. That desiring feeling is something common in many peoples’ lives; Glynne uses that emotion in combination with a fun beat to create a catchy song. The heavy emotional aspect can either be internalized or looked over by the listener depending on the listener’s intent. In that manner, the song reaches a broader audience because Glynne places the choice to determine deeper meaning on the listener. Many dramatic, slow songs are not well liked if one cannot relate to the message. By inserting emotional lyrics into a dance vibe, Glynne lets the song’s impact occur on an individual level.

“Love Me” is a slow, pianistic song on the album that contrasts “Hold My Hand” and its open interpretation. This song showcases the beauty that is Glynne’s voice. Her tone is deep and rich but also carries a strong range mentioned earlier in the review. The piano and her voice carry the song throughout, and it is all that is needed. It is a love song, as Glynne sings, “You’ve turn this black heart, made it into gold.” Though “Hold My Hand” might have a greater chance at appearing on the radio or in a club, the importance of songs like “Love Me” cannot be overlooked. It is her pure, raw talent that makes the song not only likeable but also recognizable. Any artist can add an upbeat background tempo to words and birth a typical pop hit. However, it is another level to incorporate serious talent with a good beat.

“I Cry When I Laugh” sticks out for more reasons than its intriguing name. Glynne surges forward from the success of “Rather Be” and continues to demonstrate her rich vocal tone with pop and techno rhythms.