7 July 2021-
Englishman Jack Savoretti is a bit of an oddity. A folk-rock singer recognizable by his intensely raspy voice, he comes back with a new electro-pop album that stands in rather stark contrast with the sounds currently hailing from North America...
It has long been the case, but these days are no different: US and UK charts tend to look quite similar. Not because all artists are American, mind you: Dua Lipa, Elton John or Harry Styles may be British, but they are very much met with success across the Atlantic ocean as well. And, quite naturally, many/most US Hip Hop, RnB and pop acts can be found populating the UK charts: The Weeknd, Olivia Rodrigo, Pop Smoke… Granted, there may be a slight time difference, but you will find the names on both sides at the end of the day.
Naturally, there are outliers: Queen‘s Greatest Hits, the UK’s best selling record of all time, is currently (still) sitting at #11 on the album charts. No such thing can be found in the US; not today, not ever: Queen’s time at the top of the US charts was rather short-lived given the band’s otherwise incredible success. Same goes for Oasis and/or Noel Gallagher: although there was a time they were arguably big in the US, it is safe to say their native land is largely keeping the flame alive today. Then you have Ed Sheeran: although the pop prodigy is a mainstay in the US, his profile in the UK is only comparable to the Beatles at this point — if the Beatles were a single guy with an acoustic guitar. And then there is Jack Savoretti…
Since the release of his first album back in 2007, Savoretti has slowly been carving himself a fairly specific place on the British music scene. With 2015’s Written In Scars, his profile sharply rose too, all the way to now having 2 consecutive albums debut at #1 on the album charts. It doesn’t get any better than that, now, does it? Interestingly, though, the singer is nowhere to be found on the US charts. More to the point, his latest album, Europiana, comes with a fairly obvious statement that his music is European first and foremost.
Many were prompt to comment over the contrast between the album’s title and the fact that the UK recently broke out of the European Union. No matter: Savoretti’s point is not a political one, rather an artistic vision. Also, to those who may take him for anti-American in any way, let us quickly put that one to rest: collaborators on Europiana include John Oates, of Hall & Oates fame, and Nile Rodgers, of everything fame. What is interesting with this album — and the artist who helms it — is that he is fully content with working on productions and orchestrations that equally take from classic pop, 70’s funk and/or singer/songwriter folkish territory. Thus coming up with a distinct sound in 2021. No matter where you live.
A very coherent set of songs, Europiana provides a veritable breath of fresh air with songs like the very energetic single “Secret life” or the rather grandiose closer “War of Words”. And everything in-between, including the very Daft Punk-esque Nile Rodgers collaboration “Who’s Hurting Who”, comes to serve one purpose: assert the artistic freedom of a singer who very much does his own thing. His own European thing.