After five years without any music releases, London born boy Jamie T returns to our ears with his third studio album Carry On The Grudge. Released on the 29th of September and with singles “Don’t You Find” and “Zombie”, this freshly revealed album can only be seen as an abnormal turn in the road for the unrefined indie kid songwriter we’ve all come to know and love.
If you’re expecting the same raw, unset sounds of Jamie’s first album Panic Prevention (2007) and hope to smoke out tracks that resemble the messy house party stained carpet tunes of his second album, 2009’s King & Queens, then there’s probably not a lot on this record for you. Apart from the odd dab of his trademark untuneful vocals and candy pop style synth riffs that can be found on a lot of Jamie’s earlier commercial tracks, little seems to remain of old school Jamie T, but does that necessarily mean a bad thing?
Jamie Alexander Treays aka Jamie T, found fame when radio one DJ Zane Lowe made song “Salvador” his single of the week and the track “Back In The Game” his hottest record in the world in 2006. This gave Jamie the ideal platform to promote his music for the masses, gaining him an ever growing fan base within the indie student party communities of the time. Later, songs “Sheila” and “If You Got The Money” also made their way onto radio stations top record playlists and DJs’ favourite picked tracks of the week, this carried on throughout 2006.
As a commercial music artist with hoards of ever hungry fans, it must always be a difficult task to produce fresh material when never knowing if fans and followers will cherish the newly forged ‘tour de force’ music as much as the intensely idolised treasured work of your previous releases. I believe a good artist is an artist that is not only able to break away from the abiding shackles of their enforcing ‘do this do that’ record label judgments, but sees them embrace this needed compositional free rein with the added ability of keeping the fans and audiences fully fanatical with the material that’s being created, released and performed. Carry On The Grudge is a purely marvellous example of that.
Although this album presents itself yards away from any prior Jamie T workmanship, as I’ve already said, there are similarities between more specific elements of the tracks (certain themed melodies and chordal progressions for example), but not a massive amount. It seems the album has had a more subtle and concentrated approach within its composition. Having the track “Zombie” as the choice of his latest single release seems to have been chosen possibly due to its upbeat nature, commercial saleability and Kings & Queens-esque styles.
It always makes sense for an artist to release a single that can reel in the crowds and entice them in with the prospect of an exciting album, but from my experience, its always a disappointment when the majority of the album vastly differs from the released single; I’m a big lover of mixed genre bands and artists, trust me, but there has to be some sort of relationship between tracks somewhere along the line: to be lead on by certain expectations and presented with something different is always a downer, no matter who or what it is. This album could easily have fallen into this misleading trap, but seems to have saved itself and created a whole new Jamie T style label that shouldn’t be frowned upon or dismissed in haste.
First single release “Don’t You Find” was first aired by none other than Jamie T fan Zane Lowe in July, and ‘surprisingly’ made it his ‘hottest record in the world’. Lyrically the song represents a possible love loss and the thought of missing someone when you shouldn’t be, Jamie has cleverly married this lyrical subject perfectly to the tonality and air of the song, producing a wholesome yet sorrowful feel to the track. It’s simple, straight but sad. A strange choice for a first single release, but certainly gives the listener a true illustration of how the rest of the album is pieced together and presented. Jamie has a more tidy approach to the singing on this track and showcases alluringly cold tones with the addition of added effects and verbs used in a very tasteful fashion. A beautiful track that could possibly be seen as one of the classics within his future back catalog.
“Don’t You Find”:
“Zombie” was chosen as the second single from the album and was released in August. As explained, it’s a surprise that this track was picked as the second release and would probably have made a better impact as the first. “Zombie” starts with a vintage style indie guitar/vocal vocal breakdown before punching it’s way through into the initial track. This track offers the more original sounding, primitive workings of Jamie’s first two albums. With just a basic instrumental layout (guitar, bass and drums) it really lends itself to his brutally earth-ish side of writing. This track really is the ADHD kid of the class: hyper, in your face, raw and much louder than the rest of the well behaved students. Supplying us with another catchy hooking chorus, it rivals earlier album songs “Sticks & Stones” and “Sheila”, where people know very little of the lyrical content, only able to sing out (scream) the brain stained words of the chorus.
The rest of the album is a sterling collection of pretty faced dumbed down anthems, with the applied genius lyrical lines of Jamie T blended with drafty atmospheric skins and the sounds of layered benign harmonies. Definitely worth a listen if you haven’t grabbed it already. Most die hard Jamie T fans will stick by this one, but be ready to discover a new edge to Mr T’s musical blade. Purchase Carry On The Grudge on iTunes here.