Music

“Singing to Strangers” Review

It hasn’t been an easy road for singer-songwriter Jack Savoretti. He has been in the music industry for the better part of 15 years but it was with his sixth studio album, “Singing to Strangers” released in March 2019, that he reached the Number 1 spot on the UK album charts for the first time and has already seen the record go Silver in its first month. Savoretti credits his success to his loyal fan base and his incredibly hard-working team but the truth is he is one of the most gifted musicians of our generation and this feels like only just the beginning.

I have reviewed Jack’s other albums in the past (see here and here) and upon listening to “Singing to Strangers” it’s very evident that there is a whole new sound and atmosphere to this one, which pays homage to Savoretti’s Italian roots and the longing to return to the romance and splendour of Italian cinema of the 1960s and 70s. In fact Savoretti created this body of work to be viewed as a series of movie scenes forming one epic movie, one which aims to transform you to another time and place. Recorded in Ennio Morricone’s studio in Rome, the vibe of the music may be different but the result is a masterpiece of performances where it’s impossible not to feel something while listening to it.

The opening track “Candlelight” is the perfect introduction to the new direction Jack was striving to take this album. Many have described it as the ideal track for the next James Bond film as it’s mysterious, bold and unlike anything currently on the radio. “Love Is On The Line” and “Dying For Your Love” have an unmistakable Mediterranean flavour, while “Better Off Without Me” brings us back down to earth in the most heartbreaking of ways showing Jack’s vulnerability within songwriting. The next track “What More Can I Do” is the epitome of the sound from another era and Jack actually wrote the track based around the melodic violin part taking it to a whole new level.

The title track seems to be a glorious way of storytelling through song. The idea came from Jack’s little daughter Connie who was telling her friend that her dad “goes around the world singing to strangers” for a living. As a result the sincerity and honesty in “Singing to Strangers” is palpable from the first note to the last.

Next up is the true disco number of the whole album, “Youth and Love” with a catchy, upbeat instrumental backing track. What follows is an extraordinary collaboration with Bob Dylan in “Touchy Situation” in which Jack was sent Dylan’s lyrics and composed the music for the track. The result is a brilliant ballad with power and conviction, something to truly be proud of.

What transpired when a beautiful and melodic striking of the keys combines with Jack’s incredible vocals is heard in “Greatest Mistake”, a fan-favourite and an absolute gem. Here is everything we’ve come to love about Savoretti’s songwriting over the years but on a grander, more cinematic scale.

Perhaps my favourite track from this album is “Things I Thought I’d Never Do”. He wrote the song on the piano rather than hunched over a guitar and the result is spine-tingling and inspiring. His passion and determination in his “confessions” for this piece come from a place deep within Jack’s soul without a doubt. The result is a raw example of how far true talent can take you if given the chance.

Another piano-centric performance is the powerful “Going Home” about Jack’s journey as a musician and what it means to chase his dreams. The sacrifices, the blood, sweat and tears. He was close to giving up in the early days but thankfully he persevered and today he is a shining beacon of hope and positivity for so many struggling musicians in the world.

Next is “Symmetry” with its intriguing melody and catchy orchestral arrangements before “Beginning Of Us” gives us another soulful ballad with drive, meaning and heart. Then it’s onto the second collaboration of the album with Australia’s own Kylie Minogue lending her vocals to their duet together “Music’s Too Sad Without You”, recorded live in Venice along with Luigi Tenco’s “Vedrai Vedrai”, sung live in the Italian language, morphed with Piazzolla’s “Oblivion” to complete an album unlike any other.

In summary “Singing to Strangers” is different in sound to all of Jack’s other works but delivers track after track of pleasure-filled hits. We are entertained, enlightened and enthralled into another world with Jack’s pitch-perfect and passion-fused vocals mixed with some incredible instrumental performances by Jack’s very talented “band of brothers”.

I had the pleasure of meeting Jack at his “Acoustic Nights Live” series of shows in Milan, Italy, last year and it’s definitely safe to say that he was grounded, kind and humble. A true superstar in his own right. I have been a fan of his music for over 10 years and I’m so excited about what the future holds. Success has not defined him nor slowed him down. He is about to embark on a multi-city European tour across The Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, Poland and the UK before perhaps the biggest achievement to date, playing a massive show at London’s Wembley Arena on May 31st. US tour dates supporting British superstar Dido have been confirmed for June and a series of festival line-ups have been scheduled across Europe this summer. All of us here in Australia will just have to wait our turn but Jack did say that a return Down Under is on the cards for 2019.

“Singing to Strangers” is available to purchase and stream right now and all of Jack’s tour dates and tickets can be found here.

Music

Jack Savoretti “Sleep No More” Review

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Not many artists in the music industry today can touch your soul through music the way Jack Savoretti can. His fifth studio album “Sleep No More” was released on October 28th 2016 and is charting at No.6 on the Official UK Albums chart. I’ve been a fan of Jack’s from the first moment I heard him sing in Munich in 2008 and it has been such a beautiful thing watching him evolve into the confident, charismatic singer-songwriter he is today, finally getting the recognition he deserves.

The first track on the album “When We Were Lovers” is the perfect opening track as this rhythmic ballad sets the mood for the music that follows. Jack expresses so much raw emotion in his voice and performs with such passion that it’s hard not to be completely spellbound by him, especially during his live shows with his incredible band.

“Deep Waters” performed acoustically sounds even better than the album version in my opinion and it would be amazing to have this version on a future record. If you close your eyes and listen to the beautiful guitar music accompanying a man with a husky voice like Jacks’s you’ll go to some amazing places in your mind. Pure bliss and a personal highlight for me!

The third track “I’m Yours” has been described by many fans as the perfect first dance song at their wedding and is so beautifully delivered by Jack, I can’t help but feel as if he wrote this song for his beautiful wife, Jemma Powell, describing their life together through poignant story telling.

With each track it’s easy to get a sense of who Jack is and where his music comes from, even if you’ve never heard his older songs before. “Helpless”, “Only You” and “Start Living in the Moment” are all bold songs with a driving drum beat you can’t help but tap your feet to. Jack’s brilliance really shines through in “We are Bound”, “Tight Rope” and “Sleep No More” as each track showcases his amazing vocal range and songwriting ability. “Troubled Souls” is a powerful track (one of my favourites) and has a catchy Eurovision vibe.

“Any Other Way” is an upbeat track which perfectly sums up how far Jack has come after almost 10 years in the music industry. It tells a beautiful story through its lyrics and is a track you can’t help but dance to. “Lullaby Loving” is such a beautiful way to end the album and has a slight resemblance to “Harder than Easy” with its melancholy and haunting vocals. Jack delivering the line “Don’t give up on our love (x3)…Don’t give up on us” is a highlight for me because it’s such a bittersweet moment knowing that this is the last song on the album and after he delivers these lines, it’s all over. When the silence hits after this track, I always feel an overwhelming sense of emotions. I’m so proud of how far he has come and so grateful that he didn’t give up making music in the face of adversity.

Jack’s fifth album is absolutely brilliant. After touring around his native UK this month, Jack will next head to other parts of Europe and the US next year. Fingers crossed for a return to Australia very soon as well.

Go out there and buy this amazing musician’s album and listen for yourself how music of today can be so meaningful in its lyrics, so poignant in its delivery and so beautiful in its musicality.

-Naira Tamanian

“Graceful Avenue” Founder