Revolutionary musician, Jamie T, has returned to the indie music scene with his fourth album ‘Trick’, and I daresay it is some of his best work yet. Leaving us fans for two years since the release of his last album ‘Carry on the Grudge’ in 2014, sparked a gruelling desperation for new material, of which Trick beyond satiates. The album itself is a beautiful marriage between Jamie’s fast hip-hop driven tracks, bluesy alternative rock and the more melodic ballads; all of which adhere to Jamie T’s original sound.
The album commences with all three singles released from the album; ‘Tinfoil Boy’ begins with its haunting narrative introduction, accompanied by the sultry guitar overture. I found the chilling beginning to the song so intriguing, especially when the harsh chorus explodes in with its rock-driven guitar riffs. Having the most familiar tracks first gives listeners an ease into the album and sets the mood for the other nine songs that follow.
Jamie T’s versatility as a musician is flaunted beautifully in Trick: ‘Drone Strike’ boasts his superb rapping skills with the opening verse, whilst his vocal talents are exhumed in ballads like ‘Sign Of The Times’ and ‘Self Esteem’. Not to mention Jamie’s outstanding instrumental contribution to all tracks.
It is clear that Trick was written with a live audience in mind; and with a tour approaching in October that intention will soon come to fruition. ‘Power Over Men’ possesses such a rich bassline, the song goes so much deeper and is a dream when the beat drops after the chorus. Also, his music’s fun-filled nature is restored with light-hearted, upbeat tracks ‘Tescoland’, ‘Joan of Arc’ and ‘Robin Hood’. Their intricate riffs, charismatic lyrics and contagious rhythmic flavours provoke the nostalgia for previous singles like ‘Sheila’ ‘Sticks n Stones’ and ‘Rabbit Hole’, that hold placement for Jamie T’s unique sound.
The motif of the woman speaking carried on throughout the album completes the listener’s recognition as a whole and brings a sense of cohesion to this masterful collection of music. One of my favourite things about Jamie T is his lyrics; by being softly metaphorical without being overly eloquent, he brings a voice and meaning to working class DIY eclectic hip-hop rock, giving an all round pleasurable musical tone.
My favourite track from the album is ‘Dragon Bones’. With its simple chord pattern to the chorus, the lyrics ‘upside down, inside out, if I had a gun I would blow my brains out’ possess a playful sense of irony that is carried on throughout the song. The indulgent bassline adds to the musical layers of drum, guitar and harmonised vocals. The song is a roller coaster of musical approaches, with catchy lyrics to make it such a memorable track.
Instead of reviewing the album track by track, I recommend listening yourself to hear the magic Jamie T, once again, has conjured up. I adore his charisma as a musician, and how he incorporates speech and colloquialisms into his music to exhume his personality. Words cannot express how excited I am to see the album performed live in October! Also a special thanks to Sam Joe Smith, who contributed some great insights to this piece.