Having spent time away from the spotlight and distancing herself from the X Factor, Janet Devlin is now ready to show us why she never suited the manufactured talent show and its format.
With a voice as innocent and unique as Devlin’s, one might think that the folk route would be the sensible one for her debut album. Janet has avoided this obvious move and delivered a strong album with varied influences, including pop, indie and some more dance influenced tracks.
The album opens with ‘Creatures of the Night’, a fun and nature influenced song that is a great preview for the rest of the album. With a strong and catchy chorus it comes as no surprise that the song is penned with Newton Faulkner. Faulkner appears again on the album having worked on ‘Wonderful’ and ‘Hide & Seek’ as well. These three songs are some of the heavily pop influenced songs that appear on ‘Running with Scissors’ with all easily having the ability to be singles in their own right.
The first single off the album was ‘House of Cards’, which is a song at first listen felt a bit disappointing to me, on second listen though I really began to like this song. The thumping beat throughout the chorus is enough to have anybody’s foot tapping along. This song could easily be one penned for a Take That album. ‘Lifeboat’ is a song that perhaps has a sound that you would expect more from a Janet Devlin album. This track has more of a folk influence to it, with that added innocent sound to it, nearly like a nursery rhyme.
‘Things we Lost in the Fire’ is one of the stand out songs of this album for me. The maturity of Devlin’s song writing shines throughout this song. This track delivers a simple piano based melody which lets us concentrate on Devlin’s emotional lyrics. The only thing missing from this song is the build up that seems to be a stable of any good ballad these days.
The album follows on with tracks like ‘Delicate’ and ‘Friday I’m in Love’ . These songs continue on with the more mature feel of the album, however with a more upbeat sound to them. ‘Delicate’ even includes the build up that didn’t seem to make it into ‘Things we Lost in the Fire’.
‘When You Were Mine’ is a definite stand out from ‘Running with Scissors’. It feels different than the rest of the album with a more minimalistic sound to it. It sounds like a mix of London grammar and Daughter, which can mean good things.
The album closes with ‘Whisky Lullabies’, a song that sounds like it comes straight out of a music box at the beginning. This song is definitely one that is a bit more experimental for Devlin, but one that still fits in with the overall sound of the album. The chorus of this song could be better though as I feel that it falls away from the strength of the lyrics in the rest of the song.
Overall ‘Running with Scissors’ is a great album. Janet’s time away from the spotlight allowed her to deliver an album that will turn a lot of heads with its maturity. The stand out tracks on this album are ‘When You Were Mine’, ‘Hide & Seek’ and ‘Things we Lost in the Fire’.
Watch the video for ‘House of Cards‘ below.