With two albums and an Ivor Novello Award under his belt, Tom Odell is back with his most raw and real album yet. But does Jubilee Road hold up to his previous works?
Jubilee Road is cohesive, it’s complete, it’s focused and knows what it is. It’s polished beyond belief. Jubilee Road is inspired by Odell’s East London home, though he doesn’t reveal the true places and names, it’s easy to find yourself lost in this fictional house, on this fictional street that’s maybe in London. It’s a winner, I love an album with a strong theme, an album that has no afterthoughts, but has all been meticulously planned. That’s Jubilee Road.
Now onto the actual music, the title track opens the album softly and welcomes us into Odell’s home. It really does set the scene and the standard for the album to follow. It’s actually dangerously emotional and focuses on Odell’s elderly neighbour and reflects his deep fear of one day ending up entirely alone. It’s devastatingly human, that’s the crux of this whole journey down Jubilee Road.
A lot of the album is upbeat, surprisingly after that first track. ‘Son of an Only Child’ sounds like it could be in a coming of age movie and sounds the most unlike Tom Odell. ‘Go Tell Her Now’ is a fantastic finisher and leaves us on a refreshing high note, which is sort of needed as it’s arguable that the album as a whole is a little bit samey.
Will this album win over any new fans? Probably not, it’s classically Tom Odell, both a win and a mark against him. However, Odell has broadened his lyrical inspiration, maybe he won’t be renowned for being the King of Heartbreak, but to be a painfully, relatable man who is beautifully sharing his journey through life in music. It’s not a game-changing or career-defining album, but it’s truly one that will keep listeners warm this winter.
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