Jack Garratt – Phase Review

After the initial anticipation surrounding Jack’s first two EPs, Remnants and Synthesiac, and the high praise of being given the title of BBC’s The Sound of 2016, 24-year-old Jack Garratt has launched his career with a bang, in the form of the electronica explosion that is his debut album, Phase. Prior to this, Jack headlined stages at Reading and Leeds and the Apple Music festival, as well as being awarded Critic’s Choice at this year’s BRITS and is on MTV’s Brand New Shortlist – something that probably didn’t seem too likely when training to become a teacher at university just a number of years ago.

And What’s It Like?

Very dissimilar from its unassuming album artwork, Phase is a snapshot of the diversity demonstrated in today’s indie music scene. Each song is a pick-and-mix of genres, with recognisable elements of pop, rock, dance and some smooth jazz thrown in for good measure. The electronica sound is present in the majority of the songs, yet Jack seems to embrace so many different styles – it makes the listener eager to hear the next song, just so see what he has come up with this time. Not only this, but the messages of the songs are diverse as well. There is the inspirational message of the anthem-like Surprise Yourself alongside the heartfelt ballad My House is Your Home. This divergence can found throughout his EPs too. Saying that, it does call into question how long Jack can captivate an audience before they inevitably lose interest, since he has already travelled in many different directions in only his debut album. However, Phase is a confirmation of why people were right to be so eager to hear more and more from Jack.

What Are the Album’s Best Songs?

Chemical and The Love You’re Given stand out to me the most since they are the tracks that take a different turn during the song; they’re the songs that really make me smile. Both songs are introduced fairly slowly with Jack’s voice being the main focus, before bursting into the attack of the synthesisers. At the other end of the spectrum, I also enjoy the smooth My House is Your Home; it softly rounds off a dramatic album. Fire is one of Jack’s pop songs centred around bass – a favourite of his, I’ve heard – and can only be described as the ideal song for a high-tech car advert. There are other identifiable pop songs on the album, such as the singles Worry and Breathe Life, which are more light-hearted.

Are There Any Music Videos and/or Audio?


Final Verdict

In this hugely appealing debut, Jack provides a clear message: “This is me, and this is what I can do.” And that’s much more than master the art of the snapback. With an enthralling range of instruments, sounds and genres, he is able to attract a variety of different audiences – even if someone is not Jack’s biggest fan, it’s difficult not be impressed by his sheer musical talent. It may not be the easiest listen, nor can we be sure whether Jack will simply be a ‘one-hit-wonder’, but his debut definitely makes a thrilling statement.

Jack Garratt – Phase = 8/10

Ellie Chivers

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