Over the years, Tom Odell has gone from a cult name to one of the country's most loved singer-songwriters. The piano-playing frontman has seen a mixture of commercial and critical success from his first two studio albums, with both hitting the #1 and #2 spot in the UK album charts respectively. But while both of those records saw him as a more sombre individual, writing mainly about loss and heartache, 'Jubilee Road' sees him in a far more vibrant and uplifting light, shedding much of his former intentions and returning bright and bushy-tailed on his latest full-length.
It seems clear that 'Jubilee Road' is a concept record of sorts. Inspired by his time living in East London, the album takes inspiration from the comings and goings of his neighbours, as well as his own personal experiences during that time. His wistful attitude to songwriting on this album makes it less of a critique of his time there, but more focused on the joyful side of community and mutually appreciation for the lives of others. Channeling his inner Elton John, Odell has cracked out all the positive troupes of his familiar sound, most notably the gospel choir and brass fanfare, to add gravitas and poise to his latest release, adding far more in the way on uplifting pretence.
For an artist like Tom Odell, the idea of rebuilding himself as a euphoric individual has sent him down a road of cheesy pop more than ever before. His music has never really explored such a vibrant attitude before, and in places it does feel like a cross between Paul McCartney and Neil Diamond fronting The E Street Band. Perfect if that is your bag, but obviously not for everyone.