Album Review: Jubilee Road - Tom Odell

Chloe Mullins reviews an advance copy of Tom Odell's new album Jubilee Road and gives us a preview ready for its Friday release...

Chloe Mullins
23rd October 2018

"If I ever find anyone half as good as you/I think maybe that would do"

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 the above quote taken from Jubilee Road’s ‘Half As Good As You’ depicts a lost love of Odell’s, I believe it is particularly relevant here. 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 away from the wrong crowd 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.

[pullquote]"'Jubilee Road' demonstrates that Odell is inspired by a variety of different sources rather than heartache alone"[/pullquote]

In the track entitled ‘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 sits recounting experiences he has with his neighbours. The slow, gentle melody is broken by the introduction of the drum which represents 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’, Odell discusses how once one of you decides to throw in the towel, the other has no option but to try and come to terms with it. In this moment 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.

Jubilee Road is released on Friday 26th October.

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