Single Review: Tom Odell – If You Wanna Love Somebody | Redbrick | University of Birmingham

Single Review: Tom Odell – If You Wanna Love Somebody

Deputy Editor Kat Smith is left underwhelmed by Tom Odell's newest single 'If You Wanna Love Somebody'

It’s been a while since we’ve heard a Tom Odell song that hasn’t been played over an advert or released in a holiday album. It’s nice to have him back and I would say he’s ‘better than ever’ but I’d be lying.

The first single from his upcoming album, Jubilee Road, ‘If You Wanna Love Somebody’ is no less than 3 minutes and 55 seconds of bittersweet beauty, something Odell has mastered the art of without being cringe (the occasional f-word probably helps him). The lyrics are intricate yet unpretentious and his usual vulnerability is evident. Odell knows how to write a hook that is perfectly sing-a-long worthy yet emotionally driven.

Odell knows how to write a hook that is perfectly sing-a-long worthy yet emotionally driven

It’s also very Tom Odell. But it’s so Tom Odell that it could have fitted seamlessly into Long Way Down or Wrong Crowd. From the lyrics to the melody to the general feel of the song, it’s not exactly a brave effort from an artist who has historically sung cinematic piano ballads about love.

And while he has released strong songs since his 2013 debut, not one of them has quite compared to ‘Another Love’. Though such a hauntingly beautiful yet sad song probably can’t be beat perhaps the Songs From Another Love EP will be Odell’s defining release no matter what he does. Nonetheless, keeping to a similar sound doesn’t work if your music fails to progress. Even if he can’t out-do his own debut, Odell must reinvent his sound a little to avoid falling into the trap of repetitiveness.

Odell must reinvent his sound to avoid falling into the trap of repetitiveness

Perhaps ‘If You Wanna Love Somebody’ would be more enjoyable if we didn’t have such a strong set of songs to which to compare it. So, despite everything, credit where credit is due - this is still a great song. I just hope Jubilee Road showcases at least a slight variation on his usual sound. But if the leading single from the upcoming album is anything to go by, it’s going to be a comfortable continuation of what we’ve already heard.

Tom Odell's upcoming album Jubilee Road is set to be released in October 2018. 

Current Deputy Editor, confused philosophy student and pitta enthusiast (@katlouiise)



Published

11th July 2018 at 9:00 am

Last Updated

10th July 2018 at 6:39 pm



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