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.