Wednesday, May 23rd, 2018

Jess Glynne – I’ll Be There

More like… less.. win..?


Juan F. Carruyo : Knowing next to nothing about Jess Glynne, I read up and found out that she hails from the United Kingdom. So it makes me wonder why does this smash hit sound so much like modern country? She definitely has a lot of twang in her voice, plus she also rides a couple of horses in the video. Stealth crossover move or just coincidence? I’m going with the former. Sadly, there’s nothing too remarkable about the tune, but I can see this turning up in a jukebox –or the Spotify equivalent — in 10 years time. 

Alfred Soto: An ain’t-no-mountain-high-enough plea garnished with a looped synth motif. Jess Glynne brings whatever conviction she can to a rote sentiment.

Ian Mathers: Based on a couple of the other singles we’ve covered, Glynne’s voice never sounds quite… right, and here whatever processing or production is used appears to have dumped her right in the uncanny valley. If this sounded either fully human or fully manipulated I might like it (it avoids some of the more toxic mutations of blue eyed soul her other work sometimes succumbs to, at least), instead the artificiality is impossible to ignore but never feels like a genuine aesthetic choice rather than an attempt to sandpaper and/or spackle over her actual voice. Still, this is more inoffensive listening than some of the other singles.

Iain Mew: This is the rare Jess Glynne single that shows some awareness of the quiet qualities that made “Rather Be” so enjoyable – – some of the synth sparkle is lovely and the beat just about shades into subtle rather than weedy. That makes the decision to go yodelly for the chorus even more grating and baffling. 

Edward Okulicz: Ah, you’re never alone with Jess Glynne around. She’s following you, always in the background — her warbling like the sound of crickets at dusk, and her belting like the sound of emergency sirens. She’s with you in the car, in the supermarket, and in the background of a heart-warming human interest story about a man reunited with his missing-presumed-dead dog. The best songs, and the best singers can make saying they’ll be there comforting and profound. Jess Glynne honks the boilerplate sentiment out as if she’s got a megaphone and a three-minute deadline to achieve maximum platitude. It feels churlish to hate her good-natured fluff, but here we are. It’s more of the same thing that’s just rubbed me the wrong way in all her other singles, and I have to admit that I hate it.

Matias Taylor: The UK has an unfortunate tendency to ignore its female stars after their breakout album (see: Alexandra Burke, Emeli Sande, Duffy), so the title reads not just as empowerment anthem word randomizer, but also as something of a mission statement from Jess. The singles from her last album were ubiquitous, and with this song, Jess promises to keep delivering on her brand of advert-ready, uplifting dance-pop as a remedy for those moments “when you come home and all the lights are out.” That last line is the only moment in the song that approaches genuine insight and the sense of empathy the track so badly wants to project, so the rest of the lyrics, with their vague references to heartbreak, being lost, and feeling bad, are even more forgettable in comparison. Meanwhile, the sonics don’t give any reason for hope; the hook works, but it doesn’t approach the carefree adrenaline rush of “Don’t Be So Hard on Yourself.” The production ticks all the right boxes for a 2018 pop single, but it falls oddly flat. The song’s coda, where she repeats the title refrain with little reverb and no backing vocals, and, refreshingly for an artist who often conflates volume with passion, in a quieter voice, is far more emotional and interesting than the rest of the song, but it’s too little to redeem an obvious retread of her past hits.

Reader average: [3] (2 votes)

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One Response to “Jess Glynne – I’ll Be There”

  1. Love everyone’s blurbs.

    Many thanks to Edward for making me think of Jess Glynne as the monster in It Follows.

    Iain- I agree, the faux yodelling is unforgivable.