Jack Savoretti review – smouldering pop doesn’t quite catch fire

A lack of tenacity is not one of singer-songwriter Jack Savoretti’s shortcomings. On the scene since 2007, back when remember-thems such as Mika and Just Jack were hot new properties, it has taken the Englishman of Italian descent six attempts to release an album that alerts a mainstream audience to his adult-orientated, genre-flexible pop and suave likability.

Singing to Strangers claimed the No 1 spot in March though, and it’s with that record’s opener, Candlelight, that he begins – its strings-dappled cinematic mood, like Ennio Morricone doing a Bond theme, presumably providing the inspiration for a stage dressed with red velvet curtains and movie-set-style floor lamps. Dying for Your Love twangs and smoulders as if it’s about to break off into Chris Isaak’s Wicked Game. Wearing a sharply tailored dark suit and tastefully crumpled sky blue shirt, Savoretti – the kind of guy who has no use for collar buttons, and sips red wine from a proper stem glass – is an easy-on-the-eye picture of continental sophistication. (He additionally has Polish, German and Austrian roots, and lives on a Balearic island.) If he gets a lot more famous, he could totally do a Nespresso advert.

His songs are convincing when he gets loquacious about them. For instance, he introduces Things I Thought I’d Never Do with a winding story about staring solemnly into the wood panelling of his first, beat-up secondhand piano, and how it reminded him of the confession box at Catholic school. Then he launches into a square-edged, cliche-haunted ballad about “asking for redemption” from a lover, and the intrigue dissipates.

What More Can I Do? is a tidy approximation of Otis Redding’s sweeping soul, but the bulk of Savoretti’s stuff leaves little mystery as to why a breakout long evaded him. Better Off Without Me goes for bleeding-hearted magnanimity but comes off as feeling a bit sorry for itself. Touchy Situation belies a co-writing credit for Bob Dylan. The wedding band disco-funk of Back Where I Belong means enough to one couple down the front that they get engaged somewhere around the middle eight, earning a heartfelt congratulations from a genuinely made-up looking Savoretti. If he starts writing songs as distinctive and warmly appealing as his personality, then he could be an irresistible proposition.

Touring the UK until 31 May.

Show More

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button