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Album Review: Jack Savoretti – Written In Scars

3 min read

Not many people know this, but Jack Savoretti broke my heart. It was a cold, wintery day in 2009 with an open bottle of red wine beside me when a particularly gut-wrenching episode of Grey’s Anatomy sent tears streaming down my face and rendered me unable to get out of the bathtub. That song! What was that song? Grey’s always had a knack for selecting the most heavenly music, and this episode had me madly googling the few lyrics I could remember through watery blinks and swigs of cheap merlot. That song. That song turned out to be Songs From Different Times by Jack Savoretti. And so, with a broken heart in a bathtub, began our love affair. 2015 sees Jack releasing his fourth studio album, Written In Scars, and to be honest I wasn’t sure I was ready. Alas, I took a listen, bathtub be damned.

Jack Savoretti - Written In ScarsWritten In Scars is Jack’s follow up to 2012’s Before The Storm and a slight change in sound for the Italian-English singer songwriter. In a surprising reprieve for my overall state of mind, there is less heartache and romance in this record, replaced instead with the gritty determination of a man with a message. Jack Savoretti has always attracted the best in the business, writing with Mercy‘s Steve Booker or recording duets with Sienna Miller for example, and his cohorts for communicating this message are no different. Opening track Back To Me was cowritten by Sia and Adele favourite Samuel Dixon, and completely sets the scene for this new sound. A mix of Paolo Nutini and George Ezra, Jack’s raspy and emotional vocal draws you straight in.

Home isn’t any different. An echoey track with an undertow of fingerpicking on the guitar not unlike the folky sound of First Aid Kit, gives it an uneasy edge that is full of anticipation and rife throughout the record. Tie Me Down, cowritten by Matty Benbrook who has penned songs with Jake Bugg, is more Of Monsters And Men than typical Jack Savoretti, with an addictive and urgent off-beat. Lissie features on Wasted, a track that certainly made a play for my favourite, while songs like Hunger, Fight ‘Til The End and title track Written In Scars push that message of a man with a mission – We’ve been lied to by the liars / We’ve been sold what we can buy / In our hearts there’s a fire / You can see it in our eyes.

There is a burning to this record, a subtle, pent up energy that this artist so carefully balances with melody that it’s hard to put your finger on. Previous Savoretti songs have washed over you, gently playing with your emotions. Written In Scars is different though. Written In Scars is current and ever moving, enticing you to run with it and I am in. Plus, he’s so sexy. Okay Jack, lets forget the whole bathtub thing, I think we’re back together.