I think it is fair to say that whenever we hear Tom Odell, we immediately think of his debut hit ‘Another Love’ causing all of his later music to be unfairly judged against a song released five years ago.
Although ‘Another Love’ is incredibly personal and powerful when depicting the frustration felt when you are unable to love someone you wish you could, a lot of his other music is just as powerful, if not more so. If you rid yourself of preconceptions and listen to Jubilee Road on a stand alone basis, I believe that you will discover it will do a lot more than ‘just do’.
I absolutely loved Jubilee Road and you can tell that Odell poured his heart and soul into writing it as he takes a step towards a more intimate setting. A large amount of the album was recorded in the living room of a London address he lived at for three years, giving us insight into the experiences and relationships he had whilst living there.
In the track ‘Jubilee Road’, Odell discusses his elderly neighbour Mr Bouvier which absolutely broke my heart! Mr Bouvier represents a fear that we all feel about getting old: that we will end up alone. Despite the lyrics being in the present tense, the melody sounds almost nostalgic as Odell recounts experiences he’s had with his neighbours. The slow, gentle melody is broken by the introduction of the drum representing the hope that even when we feel totally alone, comfort can from unexpected places. This also crushes criticism that there is only so many times you can listen to piano ballads about heartbreak. ‘Jubilee Road’ demonstrates that Odell is inspired by a variety of different sources rather than heartache alone and that he is able to make every track distinctive and unique in its sound.
Additionally, in ‘You’re Going To Break My Heart Tonight’, he becomes similar to Mr Bouvier as the vulnerability and loneliness invades his home once his heart has been broken.
Jubilee Road illustrates yet again that Odell is a master of his trade as he manipulates chords with ease to create beautiful melodies, such as that within ‘Queen of Diamonds’, making it not only an enjoyable experience but such a unique one as well. Everyone will have a different experience when listening to this album as they draw on their own memories of home, love, heartbreak and compassion.