Album Review: Jess Glynne – I Cry When I Laugh

Jess Glynne I Cry When I Laugh cover

Jess Glynne releases long awaited debut album
Can you imagine scoring your fifth number 1 hit on the day you actually release your debut album? This happened to Jess Glynne. She actually matched Cheryl’s record of five number 1 singles in the UK as most successful female pop star of the country. The British singer who broke through with the single ‘Rather Be’, a collaboration with Clean Bandit, was finally ready to release her first record I Cry When I Laugh, of course including all the hits. But does it live up to the hype around Jess Glynne?

Although Cheryl set her record with five solo singles and Jess Glynne did it with two solo tracks and three collaborations (with Clean Bandit, Route 94 and Tinie Tempah), it is definitely impressive that she managed to do this within just 18 months. It’s not surprising though, that she reached the highest hights with tracks like ‘Hold My Hand’ and ‘Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself‘ as they are perfectly crafted dance pop tunes (co-written by Jess herself, as is the rest of the album) with irresistible melodies and clever productions with swinging piano and some soaring strings. Although they are among the best pop hits of the year so far, it would become quite boring if we were given 15 of those on the album, now wouldn’t it? Luckily, Jess is not a one trick pony and gives us a debut album that is way more diverse than this.

Everyone who thinks Jess Glynne is only capable of doing vocals on a dance track, could listen to the beautiful and touching ballad ‘Take Me Home’ or the duet ‘Saddest Vanilla’ with Emeli Sandé that has a soulful vibe. She definitely has the voice to pull this type of song off and it would be a waste not to use her lovely tone and distinctive vocal style for more than one genre. Of course the album also has some potential hits ready to dominate the British and European charts and radio for a while longer. ‘Ain’t Got Far To Go’ would be a great choice as it has a similar vibe as her most successful solo singles, only with a beat that lies closer to R&B than to dance.

Personally however, I would go for the track ‘Gave Me Something’, as it combines everything her debut album seems to be about. The overall vibe is uplifting, the catchiness is contagious and it combines the swinging, dancey piano with soulful backing vocals by a choir. The post chorus where she sings ‘You gave me something, I didn’t have before, so Imma give you something’ is melodically outstanding as a lot of tracks on this album are. Even though not every single song on I Cry When I Laugh is a sure fire hit, Jess Glynne definitely has an ear for pop hits and she thoroughly deserves every success that is coming her way at the moment. I am sure she will be around in our pop landscape for the forseeable future.

Must listen: Hold My Hand (as if you didn’t already), Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself, Gave Me Something, Ain’t Got Far To Go, Saddest Vanilla

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