British pop sensation Jess Glynne has dropped her second studio album after teasing it on the airways with her singles “I’ll Be There” and “All I Am”. If you are a fan of those tunes, I can assure you you’ll be a fan of this album, Always In Between.
I say this because the production of the overall collection is quite similar. Most of the twelve tracks have a steady body-percussive beat behind them with glistening electronic flourishes and a piano foundation. Sorry to roaring guitar riff fans, you won’t find that here.
Interestingly, Jess recorded most of Always In Between in a British countryside mansion, equipped with multiple living rooms, a pool and even a bowling alley, according to Vodaphone’s Big Top 40. And this country influence is obvious. Tracks like “I’ll Be There” and “No One” have dominant country melodies surrounded by a popular production.
Following a groovy “Intro” track, “No One” is the first full song on the album. Jess sings, ‘Because you’re no one / until your somebody to someone.’ I can’t lie, it stings a little to hear if you’re not in a relationship like me. In my opinion, you’re still important and cared about even if you don’t have a significant other, but hey, it’s okay. I don’t like country tracks anyhow.
She follows on this thread of insecurity in “Thursday” – a body image empowerment track that reminds me a lot of “What Do I Know?” by Ed Sheeran, or even more, the song Sheeran penned for One Direction, “Little Things”. It comes then as no surprise when I find out that the ginger lyrical ninja also penned this little tune.
My particular favourite is “123”, a brassier bop with a groovy plucked bass-line and chirping trumpets. It’s an all-round fun time and makes you want to skip and groove on your treadmill. If you vibe a gospel track, this is the closest you’ll get.
I’ve always thought second albums were more important than the debut, because they solidify an artist in the industry. After waiting three years for Always In Between, it is clear that Jess Glynne is a serious pop artist. This album is certainly more cohesive than her first but hasn’t at all flexed her repertoire. At the conclusion of the album, I nodded in contentment, not because I was impressed, but because I wasn’t surprised.
TWO AND A HALF STARS (OUT OF FIVE)
Always In Between is available today.