Since the release of debut LP Songs from Another Love, Tom Odell has amassed a massive 1.8 album sales with his spirited brand of songwriting that is nothing short of enthrallingly compelling. With his latest release, Jubilee Road, Odell demonstrates an ongoing evolution in his sound.
‘If You Wanna Love Somebody’, the first single to be lifted from the album, serves up a lyrical sentiment reminiscent of fellow Critics Choice award winner James Bay’s track ‘If You Ever Want To Be In Love’. The relatively subdue opening to the track subsides slowly, culminating with an excitingly harmonious choral chorus. The track showcases a shedding of Odell’s signature bluesy sound while retaining the same poignant vulnerability and soul first garnering him to acclaim.
Throughout the rest of the album, Odell pairs engagingly emphatic storytelling with an intricate contemplation of the beauty in the mundanity of everyday life. Although as the album progresses Odell partakes in genre experimentation as a conduit to convey changes in mood and emotion, he still manages to interconnect the album through a thread of unmistakable nostalgic warmth.
Standout track ‘Half As Good As You’ is elevated by Alice Merton’s slick and emotionally resonant voice, providing the perfect complement to track’s raw, bittersweet emotion. Although the track indulges in heart-wrenching pain, the amorous piano chords and tender melody serve to convey an authentic remedying appreciation of a lost love.
The subsequent song ‘Go Tell Her Now’ is perhaps the most effervescent track on the album, enthralling with punchy production. Still, in the track’s exciting vibrancy, Odell’s lyrical and vocal strength is not lost. He manages to perfectly encapsulate the feverish desire to pour your feelings out, without hesitation or thought of the consequences.
Jubilee Road flirts with upbeat tempos and an exploration of uncharted emotion but (as evidenced by the album’s final track ‘Wedding Day’) he is still most engaging when he makes his beautifully sentimental piano playing the focal point of his work.
Overall, Jubilee Road is a warm and inviting record that really excels when listened to as a cohesive piece of work.