Jamie T – Trick Review

Who is Jamie T? Once you think you know the answer, he’ll release an album like Trick and what you thought you knew has been flipped on its head. First, we had 2007’s debut Panic Prevention, in which a carefree Jamie Treary explored the lives of bus-shelter-inhabiting, ASBO-acquiring teens through punk-rooted frankness. Just shy of ten years later, and Jamie has returned with a coming-of-age LP, which has tapped into the best bits of his previous three albums, but has marbled each track with wisdom and cultural awareness.

Jamie recently hit the big 3-0, paving the way for a newfound maturity and overlapping darkness that manifests from the very first track. Tinfoil Boy is the grungiest of all twelve songs, with lashing drums an intense hook to back the chorus that is practically spat by Jamie. The raw, piercing lyric – “it’s times like this I feel tricked into waking up” – catapults the listener into the brooding themes that bubbles up throughout the album lyrically and instrumentally. This continues in Drone Strike, in which a similarly bellowed two-word chorus, but revisits his incredible rap talent. Tinfoil Boy, however, seems to prepare the listener for Solomon Eagle. Jamie is more talkative in this track – it’s not rapped, but not really sung either – narrating the ominous tales of rough city life. Most effective is the conclusion of this track, in which Jamie has a number of backing vocalists alongside him chanting “This is God giving up”, as if a gang is closing in. Sign of the Times is Jamie’s most self-confronting track, in which he repeatedly calls himself “not enough” – frankly, this album suggests otherwise. The track creates a solemn, eerie atmosphere with an echoic bass and vocals, allowing Jamie’s voice to take mainstage. It discusses how “all the venues” being taken by businessmen, heightening Jamie’s conscious, big-boy take on this album.

Power Over Men assumes a completely different attitude, reflective of circa. 2013 Arctic Monkeys in its groovy guitar riff and the Monkey’s signature backing vocals/harmonies. The track takes a detour from the other numbers on the album, with a more relaxed theme, instigating a more simplistic instrumental approach. I don’t think it’s as radio-ready as its successor, Tescoland, despite the dark voice over intro. The topic of the song is ambiguous, but the Zombie-like notions make it a fun, pop-punk-laced track. Robin Hood is very similar, like a modern-day Sham 69. Closing track Self-Esteem is an excellent finale; a mellow acoustic number that fabricates into a conjuring of angry basses, guitars and vocals. It sums the album perfectly well, with outpourings of great authenticity and blatancy hand-in-hand with confusion and rage.

Despite reflections of older albums, Jamie T has created something extremely new, delivering his audience with a fresh maturity sculpted innovatively by what is quintessentially him.

Jamie T – Trick: 8/10

Eleanor Chivers

Single Review – Jamie T – Power Over Men

Before his last album (Carry on the Grudge), Jamie T would have been remembered as the laid-back, hip-hop esque cockney poet who churned out great hits like ‘Sheila’ and ‘Sticks n Stones’. 2014 changed that. Carry on the Grudge changed all that by demonstrating Jamie’s ear for a diverse range of music. The LP ranged from having ballads like ‘Love is only a heartbeat away’, to the soul infused ‘Trouble’ to the rage of a song like ‘Peter’ and the indie-pop fun of ‘Zombie’. The most impressive caveat of the LP was that he managed it all without losing out on his impressive lyrical style. With its slightly reverbed guitars and soul styled backing vocals in the chorus, Power over Men, whilst catchy, fun and clever offers very few signs of a new direction for his new album, Trick Splash, which releases on the 2nd September 2016.

Callum Christie 

Single Review – Jamie T – Zombie

Jamie T has revealed that his new album will be entitled Carry On The Grudge and that it will be released on September 29th. In addition to this, he’s also released a second track off the album with ‘Zombie’. Following up from the refined power of ‘Don’t You Mind’, this track is much more of a novel track for his new album. A Blur circa 1994 delivery with similar daft lyrics with a clear hook and simple harmonies, rhythms and melodies that swoop low into a swooning feigned reprise before swinging back into the song’s chorus. It’s undoubtedly a song for the gigs and festivals and will add a bit of light and shade to his album or just a bit of fun. It’s not fair to compare it to his first single from the album as it’s not meant to be. You’re not meant to remember this track for very long. but just jump about and sing along to it and it should complete that goal with ease.

Single Review – Jamie T – Don’t You Find

Nearly five years without producing any material is almost too long; especially at what was a relatively early stage of his career, but nonetheless Jamie T is back with a new single called ‘Don’t You Find’. This track is the first from his upcoming third album which will be a closely scrutinised one for sure as everyone asks “So what have you done for the last five years Jamie?”. With regards to ‘Don’t You Find’ he talked of trying to produce power through less conventional means rather than doing so through aggressive rhythms and tempos. With this track he is opted to get his power source from synth bursts, drum sample beats and very subtle hints of dub. This is occasionally coupled with a lightly rotating riff and a calm, subdued vocal. The song remains slick, refined but also has that kick he was looking for as the song slowly pulsates and bursts as opposed to constantly jangling on. It’s a well restrained and well produced track with which he hasn’t pulled it well beyond it’s limits nor kept it at a low ebb. Aside from that, he isn’t happy with standing still as that always gets appraisal on this site.