- by Rob Jones Rating:8 Release Date:2016-09-02 Label: Virgin
Jamie T brought his word heavy dramas to the public as a teenager but time flies and the multi-faceted rap-rocker has now hit the heights of his 30th birthday. His rites of passage tales are now iced with the experiences of moving from youthful gusto to a more life hardened outlook.
Trick is his fourth album and he has not bombarded the market with annual albums, so when a new long player comes along it is quite an event. The new work certainly does not disappoint with some killer alt. rock hooks taking centre stage but this musical magpie has adopted even more genres in to his manifesto.
The UK Mr T can wander from heavy grunge riffs to dirty grime grooves and on to his always favoured doffing of the cap to the The Clash e.g. the track Robin Hood. There's also elements of Mick Jones' Big Audio Dynamite.
Other aural angles fall in to the broad church of radio friendly fare (but with an edge) and the easel of The Arctic Monkeys is also used to paint pop portraits. Meanwhile, other beats also show their presence but one can envisage the late, great Joe Strummer looking down from above and overseeing the tricks of Trick. In 1976 it may have been Garageland but in 2016 it is Tescoland.
Meanwhile, another Clash protégé Billy Bragg could also pick up the mantle of Sign of the Times, as the closing number Self Esteem could be the domain of Damon Albarn (who has also worked with Jones and Paul Simenon).
Emotions, demotions, observations, obsessions, doubts, pouts and lots more can surface because Jamie is out front with his lyrics but at the same time the music is also given a chance to flow. This release has a range of rhythms led by a lexicon of language. Very much of the now but led by a musical collection that can offer Happy Mondays but which can also Rage against the Machine. There is a voice here that still needs to be heard coating tunes that most definitely deserve your attention.
Crash! Bang! Wallop! Jamie T, the present sound of London!