Phase: Jack Garratt

April 4, 2016

★★★★★

British singer, multi-instrumental, and producer Jack Garratt released his first full length debut album on February 19. His album, “Phase” was much anticipated over in the UK, and for good reason. The songs on “Phase”, with the exception of “My House is Your Home”, are a combination of soul, alt-R&B, and dubstep. Imagine if Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith, James Bay, and Disclosure all combined into one artist, and you’ve got Jack Garratt. Complex magazine described him as someone “hell bent on erving up beauty and brutality on the same plate”- and he somehow manages to combine the two and have his songs still sound great. “Breathe Life,” the second song on the album, and my favorite, was released as his lead single for “Phase”. When talking about that song, Garratt said he wrote it when he was in the studio, panicking and that the song, “came out of the room to hug me and let me know that for now, I was gonna be ‘ight.” “Breathe Life” jumps from different styles throughout, but manages to sound smooth and incredible the whole way through. Starting with a feeling of R&B, the song jumps into the chorus with an upbeat, funky sound. The song then comes to its synth-infused electro end. Song eight on the album, ‘Surprise Yourself’ is an incredible song as well, with a slow guitar and wavering synths behind Garratt’s falsetto, giving advice on being yourself. Throughout the song, he encourages you to speak your mind and to “talk without the tape to hold/ the doubts that should embrace your hope” and to “keep exploring, seek and find” because you could surprise yourself with what you find you can do. “Chemical” is different from the others in that it does not talk about lost love nor does it give an inspirational message. Instead he claims, “My love is chemical/ Shallow and chauvinistic/ It’s an arrogant display,” among other reasons to not “reason with my love.” The song jumps back and forth throughout the song from an echoed, almost-ballad like song with a beat from clapping to a burst of dub step. But again, Garratt seems to somehow make the quick and often changes sound incredible. The last song on “Phase”, “My House is Your Home” is the one song that differs from them all. With the only instruments used being his voice, a piano, and what one described as “a squeaky piano stool,” the slow love song beautifully highlights Garratt’s voice. The song then ends with him giving a short, almost defeated sounding sigh. 

 

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