Jamie T’s latest album, ‘Trick’, arrives to wake up the masses who have settled into the hazy comfort of the summer wind-down.
‘Trick’, which reveals a culmination of the broad spectrum of the troubadour’s styles Jamie T has experimented with over the course of his rollercoaster past releases, rattles into a heavier, grungier era immediately with the album’s lead single, and opener, ‘Tinfoil Boy’. Bouncing between spit-shout rap and hard-hitting riffs, the track may reveal a new direction for Jamie T, but is by no means definitive of the rest of ‘Trick’. Songs range from the blistering and quick witted lyrical rap of grime imprinted tracks such as ‘Police Tapes’ and ‘Drone Strike’, to the foot-stomping indie rock identifiable in tracks such as ‘Joan of Arc’ with its soaring chorus and building guitar squeals.
Although ‘Trick’s principal focus may be to unsettle or unnerve with its new heaviness, the middle of the track listing reveals a large amount of depth, supporting the “mixed bag” feel that Jamie T was aiming for according to interviews. The more personal insights into Jamie T’s own life, which became the root of come-back album ‘Carry On the Grudge’, are still to be found on ‘Trick’. It becomes not only a worthy successor of all his past work, but also an introspective on Jamie’s experiences and influences so far. The largest identifiable influence on ‘Trick’ is The Clash, a band Jamie often cites as an inspiration. Their musical touches are embraced in songs such as ‘Robin Hood’ and ‘Tescoland’, with the former’s Strummer-esque hooks, and the latter reaching the infectious heights of The Clash’s ‘Train in Vain’.
It is this splicing of the old and the new that sets ‘Trick’ apart from other indie albums released in 2016, with the moodier production and more politically conscious lyrics also allowing the album to gain a rebellious tone in its exploration of the current state of society – echoing The Clash yet again with the strong links to their album, ‘Combat Rock’. ‘Trick’ challenges compliance and the impending doom found in the signs of the current time (Trump, Brexit, police injustice – the list goes on) by at least making the disintegration of worldwide moral reason groove-filled and catchy for the most part.
In Jamie T’s view, if the ship is going down, we may as well be dancing on it.
Personal highlight: ‘Dragon Bones’
This article was published in our September 2016 issue.