There’s only one word that can perfectly describe Jagwar Twin’s latest album, 33: Brilliant. From beginning to end, Jagwar Twin – the brainchild of singer, songwriter, producer, and storyteller Roy English – waste absolute no real estate, making the most of all ten genre-bending songs, cumulating in something that feels absolutely epic. From songs like the massive, time-warping “Online” to the disco-tinged “Pay Attention” to hip-hop leaning tracks like “I Like To Party” and “Down To You” all the way to the stunning, theatrical closer, “The Circle”, Jagwar Twin proves again and again that they’re capable of just about anything – and they make it sound easy.
Nowadays, the term “genre-bending” can be attributed to just about any artist who is willing to work outside their comfort zone or try new things, even if safe, but throughout 33, Jagwar Twin gives a whole new meaning to the phrase. “Online” is a timeless pop track which blends easily into the anthemic and uplifting “It’s Your Time”, and the ease at which Jagwar Twin manages to jump between genres and sounds doesn’t let up there. Each and every song on the album will have you doing a double take wondering, “holy shit, did they really just do that?”. The chaotic “I Like To Party” is carried by effortless vocal runs, meanwhile “Soul Is A Star” is (you guessed it from the title) incredibly soulful. Then there’s the vibey “Happy Face”, which transitions effortlessly into the nostalgic “Down To You”. “Imagine A World” finally begins to wind things down before “The Circle” (which seriously sounds like it should be part of a movie score) comes in and brings things to an epic conclusion. And the best part is the fact that it doesn’t feel choppy. There isn’t one moment where the album doesn’t flow well or make sense.
It’s all in the album’s title. The number 33 holds many levels of significance to English, who spoke about it, saying, “I felt a shift once I turned 33. Like a switch flipped and I knew my purpose and why I was even still making music after so long and so many ‘failures.’” And it’s safe to say that 33 is his magic number. The album feels like a total victory lap – like English is looking right at you and saying, “Look what I can do!”. There isn’t another pop album quite like 33 right now, and that’s saying a lot.