Jack Garratt was catapulted into the spotlight back in 2016 after winning two of the music industry’s most coveted awards for an up-and-coming star. The ‘BBC Sound Of 2016’ and ‘Brits Critics’ Choice’ awards should have made him a household name, but after the release of his first album, Phase, Garratt found himself burdened with anxiety and self-doubt following huge scrutiny and pressure from critics and fans alike.

Four years have passed since then, and now, he’s back – and stronger than ever. Love, Death and Dancing takes the crucial elements which kept his music so beautifully distinct in 2016 and runs with it – there’s no question this is a true Jack Garratt masterpiece. 

Reaching a coveted Top 10 space in the Official Charts, it’s obvious that there’s still an appetite for such a distinct music genre – and it’s clear to see why. His electronic music evokes thoughts and feelings few are willing to openly express. With the catchy synth beat of ‘Better’ or the almost palpable excitement of the final crescendo in ‘Time’, it is evident that Garratt has taken the time to compose each song with the listeners’ experience in mind.

To fully appreciate Garratt’s music, you need to be patient and actively listen. The way in which individual sounds mingle with the lyrics creates an experience and an emotional journey which few artists are able to achieve through their music, and it’s powerful.

With great power comes great responsibility and expectation. To this end, Garratt does not disappoint with every song on the album being, by its nature, unapologetically unique. 

His voice and lyrics are so raw that, at times, it makes the album a tough listen. You can truly feel the emotion that Garratt wanted to convey after his lengthy hiatus and this skill is what makes Jack Garratt’s music stand out in an increasingly crowded music scene which is becoming even harder for artists to thrive in. 

However, Love Death and Dancing does feel a little confused at times. This could be because of the track listing, which is dependent on the format you listen to it in. Conversely, it could be because Garratt’s sound tends to extend itself into the far reaches of music that his compositions sometimes feel a little too experimental and maybe even ‘messy’ to the average listener. Yet, with such important topics covered throughout the album, you can argue that this was purely intentional. Such an audible journey may be too intense for some – but it could be argued that this genre, in its nature, isn’t for everyone.

This certainly isn’t a ‘mainstream’ piece of art – but it’s a hugely refreshing collection of music that someone only as talented as Jack Garratt could accomplish. Take one hour out of your day to sit back and enjoy the emotional rollercoaster of this album, and you certainly won’t regret it. 

4/5

Image Credit: Island Records

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