Jamie T | Carry on the Grudge (Virgin)

cd jamie-TIt’s an album about the life on the dirty side of London, which is vintage Jamie T.

 

 

 

I never really got into Jamie T. I liked a lot of the bands to which he had been compared—The Streets, Gorillaz, Blur, The Clash, etc.—but I just couldn’t get into him; for whatever reason, it somehow wasn’t palpable to me. A couple of songs here and there weren’t bad, but they weren’t anything special.

Cue up five years later and someone (me) has to rethink her stance on Jamie T. On Carry on the Grudge, Jamie T has matured and really found a way to harness all his talent—to say nothing of crafting some really good songs. Not getting too wrapped up on rap/singing in every song, he lets his voice shine through, and it’s vulnerable, introspective, and apologetic. As he opens the album with a duo of fantastic songs, you’ll find yourself halfway through before you realize it.

The disc is not without its flaws, however. You can hear the obvious Clash influence in “Trouble,” while other songs sound like things you’ve heard before. “The Prophet” has a strong Modest Mouse sound to it, and you can hear similarities with the bluesy songs of the Arctic Monkeys, but I wouldn’t penalize the album for that.

While it has those similarities to current and past artists, Jamie T is still doing it in his way. It’s an album about the life on the dirty side of London, which is vintage Jamie T. And it sounds pretty good. | Kiernan Scrima

Standout tracks: “Limits Lie,” “Don’t You Find,” “Love Is Only a Heartbeat Away,” “Rabbit Hole”

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