Album Review: Jack Garratt - Love, Death & Dancing

Many would rush to make the dreaded second album off the back of a much-lauded debut (2016's 'Phase') and major accolades (BBC Sound of 2016, BRITs Critics' Choice Award).

But, for Jack Garratt, that wasn't an option.

What should have been a big "celebratory moment", turned into anyone's worst nightmare.

Not only is Garratt his own worse critic, but the spotlight and expectation had a devastating impact on his mental health.

Garratt admitted he felt "scared and alone" and went through a phase of intense “self-loathing" after his whirlwind rise to fame.

After a bleak period - and no doubt a great deal of soul-searching - Garratt returned in January with his first new music in four years.

On his second LP, 'Love, Death & Dancing', the Bucks-born star presents his most honest and refined collection to date.

The 'Worry' singer battles with his emotions throughout the ironically euphoric record.

Gushing with joyous vocal harmonies fit to fill a stadium, trippy vocoder and hypnotic beats, 'Return Them to the One' is at the core of the LP.

Garratt belts out: "They haven't come for me. I'm not the main event. Oh, won't you take me as I am?"

Meditative rhythms are like medicine throughout 'Love, Death & Dancing'.

'Get In My Way' kicks in with a Shanti-style mantra, before Garratt's hushed vocals echo in and out.

The successor to 'Phase' shows Garratt has matured in the songwriting department, whilst the music is free-flowing and genre-less.

On 'Better' - which he described as "a dance song about the end of times" - Garratt throws some house beats into the mix, whilst the bluesy bass flirts with the unforgettably-hooky chorus.

Garratt was often tipped as the next Ed Sheeran, but 'Love, Death & Dancing' is the antithesis of a pop singer chasing a hit: it's medicine for the soul.

Rating: 8/10

For Fans Of: Sam Smith, James Blake

Release Date: 12.05.20