A profound and purgative experience…
Jamie T - Carry On The Grudge

If five years was a long and difficult wait for you between Jamie T albums, spare a thought for the Wimbledon troubadour, whose personal trials delayed and ultimately darkened this follow-up to his second LP, 2009’s ‘Kings & Queens’.

His contemplations of emotional minutiae are still thrillingly incisive. Yet here, on album three, any bleak melancholia is rescued with massive hooks, huge choruses and Jamie’s loose, lovable vocals.

‘The Prophet’ harnesses a Velvets-like menace in its austere quest for answers: “I’m up for suggestions,” Jamie admits, adding, “It can’t be any worse that what I’ve been up to”. Elsewhere, while ‘Peter’ is as oppressive as its theme of schizophrenia recounts.

The triumphant ‘Zombie’, which casts Jamie as a lovesick “sadsack”, is propelled by a chirpy knees-up, while the sweeping optimism of ‘Love Is Only A Heartbeat Away’ eventually becomes the haunting closer, ‘They Told Me It Rained’.

This fatalistic attraction makes ‘Carry On The Grudge’ a profound and purgative experience, assuring Jamie’s prestige as a tortured yet penetrating genius.

8/10

Words: Simon Harper

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