AKA: JAMIE ALEXANDER TREAYS
SOUND: ALTERNAITVE/INDIE ROCK, HIP HOP
If you're familiar with Jamie T's earlier work - particularly his first album 'Panic Prevention' - this new offering is worlds away. Songs like 'If You Got The Money' and 'Sheila' were raw and aggravated; this new sound is much more polished and accessible. It's not that that's a bad thing: there's still the quintessential Jamie T attitude and his well-delivererd wordsmithery - it's just that, this time around, it's a little more versatile.
What that all really means is that 'Carry On The Grudge' is a cruisy listen from top to tail. Compared to past grungy, hip hop-esque tracks, this album is much more of a leisurely drifting journey. We hear a lot more of Jamie T's singing, which compliments the more low-key tracks just as well as those with higher intensity.
Things kick off with 'Limits Lie', a slow-tempo tune which meanders between choruses with a mellow acoustic guitar and a lazy drum beat. The undeniably sombre 'Don't You Find' prefers to rely on synth sounds to create an eerie backing to Jamie T's softly spoken lyrics. Despite its gentle surface, 'The Prophet' has a rough undercurrent, with dominant lyrics like, "You're like a fucking hurricane next to me." The album is bookended with the superb 'They Told Me It Rained', with keys and tambourine supporting a glorious outpouring of emotion for a man at the end of his tether, with nothing left to do but beg for love.
For any fans in despair over the drastic changes, fear not - there's still plenty of recognisable tracks on offer. Personal highlight 'Zombie' has a touch of country pop to it, taking the metaphor of the slow-walking monster to the extreme. It's a fast-paced glance into the mediocrity confronting much of the world. If you're up for a dance, 'Trouble' is the perfect solution - definitely the roughest of the album's tracks, with Jamie T scatting through a crisp, catchy chorus.
It doesn't surprise me that his new album should take five years for him to complete, finessed and refined to a point close to perfection.
'Rabbit Hole' is another rousing tune which gives the Alice scenario a modern twist, throwing us into a whirlwind of electric guitar, drums, and some spiralling rap lyrics from Jamie T. Then there's the borderline aggressive 'Peter', adorned in distorted electric guitar and a daunting choral backing - we're presented with an extensive list of furious dislikes from the titular character; we're even informed that "Peter doesn't like this song".
'Carry On The Grudge' should have something to keep everyone happy - fans should be satisfied by tracks reminiscent of Jamie T's earlier work, while newcomers will find it easy to embrace this addictive album. Whatever the case, this is an impressive offering from a musician who has continued to impress - and though it might a few years between albums, it's always worth the wait.
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