Album Review: Jamie T – Carry On The Grudge

Carry On The Grudge

Jamie-T-Carry-On-The-GrudgeReleased September 29th 2014

It has taken Jamie T an absolute age to come back with the follow up to his debut Panic Prevention (released in 2007). I have to admit on the first listen of Carry On The Grudge I wasn’t at all sold. I was a huge fan way back when then though and it was his performances on Later Live with Jools Holland that made me revisit this album despite a hefty pile of albums waiting my attention. Not many get a second chance, but the slightly  younger me begged for it and so here we are.

Jamie T has certainly kept a healthy dose of his bitter hard hitting punk style rap feel on this album, still kept to his Panic Prevention roots. Yet there are tracks that say, don’t discount me as rehashing the been there and the done that. Jamie T has moved on too and you can so hear that in tracks such as They Told Me It Rained. It’s not often that a final track becomes my favourite but it has. The story telling spills out in more than the lyrics, it’s the sounds and their thoughtful construction too.

While Jamie might not have the best of vocals when he straight out sings – he sounds like he’s both drunk and drowning at times – this all kind of adds to the appeal. It’s quite a skill to sound like that and it would grind unceremoniously against his punk aesthetic if he sang a perfect tune. You need only listen to Don’t You Find – a ska infused ball of sound, to hear exactly what I’m talking about. Want to hear more of what you’re used to from Jamie T? Head straight for Rabbit Hole.

Mid week sales figures and charts might be suggesting that Jamie T is headed straight for the number uno slot this weekend. I question if that is off the back off anything on this album or if it’s a hoard of 25 year olds looking to get their Sheila-esque kicks again.  I suppose Zombie would be the only thing even close to the energy of that track – the track that expressed the experience of  thousands and still does. While it might have the riffs, the catchy chorus and the slur, what it lacks is a story that is perhaps quite so instantly easy to relate to. That said, you could also look at it as the hangover that follows -too much time on your hands, feeling off kilter. Looking it like that, perhaps he has got it spot on after all.

If it’s Zombie people are liking then I think they’re going to love the ghost ride bag of tricks that Jamie’s pulled out on Trouble. This track is fun – there’s no other way to describe it. You’ll be up on your feet in no time as you try (unsuccessfully) to dance and learn that chorus. The little percussion touches on this are the added flavour, while the 80s vibe of backing vocals are the finishing sprinkling touch to a great musical recipe.

When I listen to this album now I find it hard to see how I disliked it several days ago. For some it will be an instant hit and for others, well I urge you to give it a little more time as it’s grown on me like no one’s business. It’s quirky, it’s punk, it’s fun and yet simultaneously it’s bitter, serious and rough around the edges what more could you want from Jamie T?

Watch the video for Zombie here:

Watch the video for Don’t You Find here:

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