It’s hard to believe that it was just a few years ago that Jess Glynne burst into the charts alongside deep house producer Route 94 with hit track ‘My Love’ along with a feature on Clean Bandit’s ‘Rather Be’. Since then she’s worked with the likes of Rudimental, as well as releasing her debut I Cry When I Laugh, which spawned hits such as ‘Hold My Hand’, ‘Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself’ and ‘Real Love’.
Now Glynne is back with her sophomore album, Always In Between, which features the singles ‘I’ll Be There’ and ‘All I Am’.
Both singles are the hits Glynne needed in the build up to the album’s release. ‘I’ll Be There’ provides a catchy chorus to please fans and radio stations alike, along with featuring some of the strongest production from the album. ‘All I Am’ is a fresh take on 2000 track ‘Finally’ by Kings of Tomorrow and, while the track relies heavily on its sample, Glynnes catchy lyrics: “Every time I think I’m falling, I know you’re falling too” makes for a winning hit that sits well alongside the singles from her debut.
AIB kicks off with a soulful introductory track, which hints at a possible change in direction for the singer. The gospel vibe continues later in the album with track ‘123’ and it’s a refreshing and interesting extension of Glynne’s style, it’s just a shame the album didn’t have more of this.
After the teasing ‘Intro’, we are plunged back into Glynne’s house-inspired pop, with second track ‘No One’. The track aspires to be a modern take on her older work, but fails to hit the spot so well. This continues with the repetitive ‘Thursday’ and tracks such as ‘Never Let Me Go’.
The album takes a more interesting turn during ‘Broken’, an emotional ballad that shows Glynne doing her best Adele and overall it works very well. This track is a strong example of why she has achieved her success and the talent she possesses. As somebody who has previously witnessed Glynne perform, I can imagine her absolutely killing it performing this track live and it’s a great example of where her raspy vocals work at their best.
‘Hate / Love’ is another highlight from the record, projecting a vintage r’n’b vibe, describing the emotions towards a person you love after the relationship goes sour. This track in particular showcases a side of Glynne fans haven’t seen much of before and it’s exciting to see her exploring these influences.
Overall this album is a mixed bag. There are some definite highlights here, but Glynne fails to churn out the hits like she did with her debut. It feels like she couldn’t decide where to go with this record and the result is a compilation of takes from differently inspired recording sessions. It’s an album that fans who are already invested in her will enjoy, but it’s unlikely to bring in many new listeners. The best thing going for AIB is its strong singles prior to the release and the way Glynne delves into a more soulful direction on certain tracks.