Album review: Tom Odell - Jubilee Road
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Ivor Novello winner Tom Odell has shown that he can churn out breakup piano-anthems, particularly in his debut album, Long Way Down. The long-awaited Jubilee Road is endowed with soft chords, soothing backing vocals and relationships as the focus, yet Odell allows himself to venture into the upbeat, too. Jubilee Road is a valiant celebration of sadness. Odell’s impassioned voice fails, particularly over high notes, to contain its emotions as he wobbles and wails with perfectly imperfect pitch. ‘You’re Gonna Break My Heart Tonight’ and ‘Half As Good As You’ revel and lament in raw feelings, wrapped up in tender piano chords. ‘Half As Good As You’ opens with “I’m sick to death of eating breakfast on my own”, an obvious nod to the song’s subject matter. The collaboration with Alice Merton is pleasantly surprising, as her range glides up with considerably more ease. ‘You’re Gonna Break My Heart Tonight’ is an ironically romantic serenade, given its title, bursting into a cliché saxophone solo; Odell opens himself up to the romanticised notion of vulnerability. Additionally, ‘Queen of Diamonds’ dances in bittersweet memory, the luck of drawing the Queen of Diamonds, “you remember all the love she carried with her, like a bitter cheap champagne” summoning Fleetwood Mac-esque minor harmonies and delicate notes on top of its block piano chords.
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