Jack Garratt – Phase

You came around to say that you’ve been away, like I hadn’t known.
As if I don’t wake up every single day not seeing you go.

2. 19. 16

I cannot recall when or how I first discovered Jack Garratt, but I remember finding the song Weathered somewhere online and was immediately hooked. Unfortunately, I was left almost empty handed because Garratt was still in the process of putting the final touches on his 12-song debut album released this past friday, Phrase. But now it’s finally here, and it’s time to get into it. Jack Garratt is an indie pop singer from the UK. His voice is what initially drew me in, and is most likely the reason I stayed. His voice is smooth throughout the highs and lows including some great falsettos, and raw as he hits some of the higher notes. The instruments most frequently used on the record are piano, drums, guitar, bass, and a large dose of synth. What is more important than the instruments used are Jack Garratt’s ability to play each one of them. I can already hear the disappointed sighs after this joke, but Garratt truly is a “Jack of all trades.” After finishing the album, however, I did find myself disappointed. Not the kind of disappointed where your four-year old son goes 0-3 in his t-ball game, but the kind of disappointed where David Ortiz swings at pitch over his head with a 3-2 count (I apologize off the bat for those who don’t understand baseball references, yep don’t worry I can hear the sighs again). Jack Garratt’s talent is there. The problem is he is being overambitious with what he has been given, rather than taking ball four and walking to first base because he understands how  to stay away from unnecessary risk or how to  utilize his gifts. Good examples of this include songs like The Love You’re Given and Chemical come across as abrasive when they have the potential to be embracive.

Lyrically, not much stands out from Garratt. I cannot state how honest he is being through the ups and downs of love and heartbreak, because I have no idea. Regardless, the way his lyrics are displayed is unavoidably cliché. I know it seems that I really really do not like this album, and the reason for my negativity is my expectations based on Garratt’s talent. But I do like this record. It is my favorite album released this week and I do enjoy many songs throughout the album. Far Away, for example, displays a wide variety of Garratt’s strengths as the simple piano evolves into quick synth and claps preluded by captivating falsettos. Another great standout is Fire—a fast paced track dominated by synths, an edgy chorus, and an absolutely killer bridge, slightly reminiscent of some of Kendrick Lamar’s recent work (I know I am going out on a limb with this one and it’s a stretch, but I hear it), which is probably my favorite part of the entire album. Phase is not phenomenal in any stretch, but Jack Garratt’s potential is no doubt through the roof. I believe the key for his success is not in aiming high for the stars, but instead digging deep to the core of himself. The talent, passion, and honesty he needs is there waiting for him.

For Fans Of: Josef Salvat, Nick Leng, Honne
Favorite Songs: Fire, Far Cry, Breathe Life
Top 10 Potential: No
Albums Cover: 8.5/10

Click Here to Give Jack Garratt a Listen

What are your thoughts on the album? Love it? Hate it? Indifferent? I’d love to hear what you are thinking. Was there another album released this Friday or just in general you want to recommend to myself and others to listen to? Feel free to post any thoughts or recommendations below!

 Other Notable Releases
Jordan Klassen – Javelin
Josef Salvat – Night Swim
Wild Nothing – Life of Pause
Like Pacific – Distant Like You Asked


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