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'I Cry When I Laugh' review: Brit sensation Jess Glynne's powerful debut

Jess Glynne's "I Cry When I Laugh" album.

Jess Glynne's "I Cry When I Laugh" album. Credit: Atlantic Records

Jess Glynne's voice is way more popular than her name, thanks to a string of hit singles including "Rather Be" with Clean Bandit. In England, she's already had five No. 1 singles, giving her the most chart-toppers ever for a female solo artist.

Four of those singles appear on her debut, "I Cry When I Laugh" (Atlantic), and taken together, they show why Glynne is on the fast track to stardom.

She has a powerful voice, though like most British dance-pop singers and unlike most American dance-pop singers, her delivery has little R&B in it. The sparkling "Rather Be" and "Hold My Hand" graduate from the Kylie Minogue school of sleek Europop. "Don't Be So Hard on Yourself" shows how well Glynne can handle even more complicated rhythms, while "You Can Find Me" should be her next dance-floor anthem.

Glynne stumbles, though, when she slows things down for the drippy "Saddest Vanilla," which somehow made the record, even though it rhymes "ice cream parlor" with "broke my heart, yeah." Perhaps Emeli Sandé could have appeared on something else? It's a rare miss in Glynne's otherwise hit-filled parade.


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