Jack Garratt – Phase
Electronica | Alternative
Multi-instrumental maestro Jack Garratt was already showered with awards before Phase was even released, including the Brit’s critic’s choice award and BBC sound of 2016. Anyone who has seen him live will know that the praise is well deserved as he simultaneously plays synths, drum machine and guitar with virtuoso precision. Match that with his clever songwriting and a vocal range that spans from gritty blues to soaring falsetto and you have the most talented person to have graced the top 40 in a long while. His live performances show off his broad musical spectrum with his guitar solos at the end of ‘Worry’ raging like the fires of hell and his acoustic renditions of ‘Water’ far sweeter than the choirs of heaven.
His debut album doesn’t begin to describe him; there’s no wild guitar, and ‘Water’ didn’t make the album. The studio versions of his songs don’t come close to capturing the magic. The big hits like ‘Breathe Life’ and ‘Weathered’ still pack a punch, but songs like ‘Far Cry’ and ‘Fire’ try and pack too much in and end up sounding convoluted. For his follow up he should try and show off his range in little pieces across the album as a whole rather than try and fit it all in every track. After a predominantly electronic album, the closing track ‘My House is Your Home’ comes a welcome surprise. The stripped back piano ballad is simple and rough around the edges and exactly what he should be doing more of. I want to hear more of the Jack Garratt that I know and love and part of me wishes that Phase turns out to be just that in the grand scheme of his hopefully long career.