Album Review... Jamie T - 'Carry On The Grudge'

'Carry On The Grudge' is doing just what you'd expect after a five-year gruelling wait for another album from one of Britain's most upfront indie-poets. Half a decade on from his last album, and Jamie Treays, now a slightly more matured 28 year old, has barely budged; still a frustrated, angst ridden individual whose more refined view on life has produced an album worth waiting for.

Opening track, ‘Limits Lie’ is the re-awakening from the five-year long grudge, of which Jamie is about to lump onto his back again for another twelve track journey down some of London's bleakest streets, exposing more insecurities and grit than ever before. Lyrically, the album is undeniably Jamie T, but they expose a more decayed, self-loathing state; ‘I’m sweating in a carcass, I’ve given up on me’ is a more broken and deteriorated soul than the sprightly youth we’re used to. His song-writing too has delved much deeper beneath a potentially tormenting few years with comeback song, ‘Don’t You Find’. Creeping right out of a tattered, cigarette stained sofa, its brooding nature is far removed from merry days of ‘drinking under age’ and ‘lightweight pricks’. 

Having had rumours of his death circulating over recent years, it’s amusing or maybe essential that ‘Zombie’ should rekindle an aura not felt since 'Sticks 'n' Stones'. Although it reveals some of his poorer lyrics, it's able to resurrect the cheeky chappy within him, as if it'd never left him. The ashes still lingering around from his past two albums are evident too, particularly halfway through the record. Those unimpressed with Jamie’s more laid-back approach on parts of the album, will be more than sufficed with an almost familiar trio of tracks. 'Trouble' is where 'Kings and Queens' left off with quick wit, nonsense lyrics, ‘doop de doop, doop doop doop, it’s trouble’. He’s clearly not had trouble thinking of more catchy ditties which ‘Rabbit Hole’ also attains, leaving you dizzy in its bullish trails. Elsewhere the scratchy ending to ‘Peter’, a snarling track about Jamie’s filthy alter-ego, is almost parallel to the jittery climax of 2009’s ‘Castro Dies’. 

The tender moments are a step away from the upbeat anthems of Jamie's yesteryear but the wailing backing vocals, provided by his new band, are still about. 'Turn On The Light' and 'The Prophet' peel back the layers and deliver lullaby chorus’ befitting for Jamie’s more heartfelt tales. These tales of course, would not be complete without their characters. In 2007 it was Sheila and Stella, 2009, Emily and Jilly and now Jamie’s having a pop at Mary Lee and Marcus.

It’s an album which although slightly altered in its sound, still addresses the real people and situations of Jamie's blurry world. Five years was a long time to wait, but he must be praised for returning with a record that’s as realistic as his last and firmly establishes him back in the game.

Jamie T - 'Carry On The Grudge'
Out of 10 - 8/10

By Joshua Shreeve (@JJShreeve)

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