While it has a lot to keep up with in the velvety-voiced lead singer Taylor Jules, the piano parts in the new single “Adickted” is arguably just as powerful a tool of expression for the up-and-coming pop phenom at the helm of this track. Jules has developed a simple discography somewhat defined by her swagger this year, but in this latest release she’s offered to fans, I think we’re getting a better look at the humble poetic bend her songwriting is starting to enjoy. She’s letting go of a lot of conventionality in this piece and making herself more open and free-moving with the rhythm of the music, arguably allowing for this to be her most cathartic and relaxing pop anthem to hit record store shelves to date.
There’s a lot of confidence driving home the verses in this single, but I don’t think “Adickted” is a song that comes shaped solely by the attitude of its lead player. Jules’ presence is an integral part of what makes the hook so accessible, but her approach to the lyrics seems outweighed by the actual substance of her words in this performance. It’s strikingly different from other hits in her young discography, such as “My Best Mistake” or the controlled “19 (Acoustic),” but what it suggests about how she’s evolving as an artist makes even the more experimental moments this track has to share more than intriguing to serious fans and newcomers the same. It’s hard to get better without changing some part of your foundations, but this is a good example for indie players to follow.
I’m picking up on a slight soul-pop feel to the structure of “Adickted” that I would be interested in hearing a little more of in a future single, though I’d spot its familial roots a little closer to R&B than I would have anticipated. Jules did record this song with a lot of presence in the harmonies, which was bound to have some level of influence over how the finished product turned out, but her simplistic tonal charms make this material sound a lot more homespun than specifically pastoral in the sense that most pop music is these days. There’s nothing wrong with going raw when it produces results like these, and I doubt I’m going to be the only critic to praise her for the effort she put into the emotional aspects of this new track.
Diverse in skill but focused on her execution, Taylor Jules is probably the right singer/songwriter to give American pop music the boost it needs in 2023, and her single “Adickted” demonstrates as much. Her voice is of a caliber that demands respect from the audience no matter the kind of arrangement it’s being put in front of, and in this instance, it’s placed with such a likable instrumental backdrop that the very notion to turn back once we’ve pressed the play button isn’t about to enter anyone’s mind. I’ve been curious about her growing buzz in the business, but in “Adickted,” Jules’ talent is too grand a feature to be questioned.