Joe Cadman picks apart Jamie T's latest album, analyses each piece and puts it back together again, all for your reading pleasure and it looks like Jamie T is back with a bang!
Jamie T - Trick
After making us wait five years for his third album, Jamie T isn’t hanging about anymore. Trick is his second album in as many years and while many of the indie class of 2007 are either floundering in a void of nothingness or cease to exist - I’m looking at you Kaiser Chiefs and Hard-Fi - Jamie T is comfortably hitting his stride.
Lead single Tinfoil Boy is an intense opener that’s heavier and punkier than anything he’s done before; its riff sounds like the love child of Beastie Boys Sabotage and Rage against the Machine. The phlegm flecked delivery of the simple chorus shows the fire of his first two albums hasn’t been lost whilst Police Tapes sees him at his most confrontational. Complete with a grimy, throbbing bassline, it makes Carry on the Grudge’s Peter look like a cowering toddler that’s petrified to leave the house.
Trick isn’t all punk tinged aggression though as Treays has managed to cherry pick the best elements from his past three efforts. Joan of Arc and Power Over Men provide the arms in the air singalong chorus and the dancefloor filler respectively, as both should please the fans of the early days, whilst Drone Strike harks back to the machine gun rapping that made people fall in love with Jamie T in the first place. Even fans of Joe Strummer can find something here as Robin Hood feels like the ghost of the late Clash frontman has possessed Treays for 3 minutes and 24 seconds just to bang out the track.
Where the album really shines there is in its latter stages. Yes Crossfire Love is just catchy enough to warrant its place on the album but when Treays shows off his more sensitive side on Sign of the Times and Self Esteem, they become the best moments on the album. The former sees him lamenting on both the plight of Britain’s DIY venues (“Where did all the venues go? / We lost them all to businessmen”) and his own career (“And I wish I’d been a little more exceptional / And I wish I’d been a little more unconventional”) in his typical emotive manner whilst creating the closest thing on the album to last year’s Magnolia Melancholia. Self Esteem rounds things off in introspective gloominess and is the only time that Jamie T fully opens himself up on the album yet it feels like the perfect end to proceedings.
If anything what’s most evident on Trick is just how much Jamie T is enjoying making music again. It skips around genres with the elegance and confidence of an artist who’s completely at home in their own skin which, fingers crossed, means another vanishing act isn’t in the pipeline. Then again, maybe that’s the trick that Jamie Treays is playing on us all.