JLS' 2.0: What You Need To Know
Rising to stardom as runners up on the 2008 instalment of TV talent show The X Factor, behind that year’s eventual winner Alexandra Burke, JLS nevertheless carved out a successful career for themselves, releasing four albums together from their self-titled debut to their 2012 album Evolution – all of which landed in the UK Album Chart’s Top 3.
After their fourth LP and a 2013 greatest hits album titled Goodbye, members Ortise Williams, Aston Merrygold, Marvin Humes and JB Gill went their separate ways to focus on solo projects.
Now, though, JLS are back with a brand new album, 2.0, which sees them updating their slick brand of R&B-influenced pop and aiming to rekindle their chart success.
Here’s everything you need to know about their return…
A little background…
In the intervening years since their 2013 greatest hits collection, the boys have kept themselves busy in a variety of ways – Gill, Merrygold and Humes have all enjoyed turns as TV presenters, while Williams has collaborated with the likes of Pusha T and he and Merry gold have both appeared as contestants on dancing shows Stepping Out and Strictly Come Dancing.
News of a reformation arrived in November 2019, when the group began working on new music, and despite a bizarre episode where a drill track by Switch and J9 was mistakenly assumed to be their new single, JLS eventually signed a new record deal with BMG in March this year, with the first new single ‘Eternal Love’ unveiled in September..
Who’s producing it?
Several producers and songwriters make contributions on the new album, including Lost Boy, production trio TMS, Wayne Hector, Steve Mac and Ed Sheeran, the latter of whom helped pen their recent single ‘Eternal Love’.
Any special guests?
Celebrity songwriters aside, no. It’s just the four lads this time.
What does it sound like?
JLS made a name for themselves with a mixture of slick R&B and upbeat, danceable pop – a formula that has already yielded a dozen Top 20 singles - and fans will be pleased to know that’s the case here too, although overall their sound benefits from the production contributions of Lost Boy and TMS, who help bring their new material up to date.
The Ed Sheeran co-write ‘Eternal Love’ is one of the highlights on the slick R&B end of the scale on offer here, while others like ‘Tango’ and ‘Love Immortal’ are easy dancefloor hits and ‘Postcard’ adds a dancehall flavour to its infectious groove.
Does it deliver?
JLS sound as professionally slick as they always did on the new album and with several other boybands from the era such as Take That and Westlife enjoying a successful return in recent times, JLS have chosen their moment well.
If you’re a long-standing fan you’ll find plenty of things to enjoy on 2.0, and thanks to some sharp songwriting and their natural talent for vocal harmonies they’ll probably earn themselves some new admirers too.
JLS 2.0 is available in hmv stores from Friday December 3 - you can also find it here in our online store.