Jamie T - Trick

by Sam Watson

I won’t lie I’m a big Jamie T fan. It took me until Carry On The Grudge to properly get into him and Rabbit Hole is now one of my favourite indie songs so I was looking forward to Trick with high hopes as each Jamie T album is better than the last. However, when I first heard Tinfoil Boy being played on the radio I was bitterly disappointed. I just don’t like it and I really wish I could give some more in-depth analysis about what I don’t like about it but I can’t; I just disagree with the song as a whole. After hearing this I avoided any song off Trick at all costs as decided I should listen to the album as a complete work so he could either redeem himself or I could be let down just once instead of lots of times as I heard each song .

Tinfoil Boy opens the album and while I have listened to it again, I still don’t like it so I’ll move on. Drone Strike follows and it feels like Banksy crossed with Muse – I also don’t get it and really dislike it. Power Over Men is track three, and I feel much more at home here, this is a classic Jamie T song, a chilled out rock song with a few guitars, a few backing singers and Jamie’s voice. I feel like there is a guitar solo, the tune is memorable but the song isn’t too repetitive – we are back on the up. Tescoland comes next, I’m already on board with this one based on the title alone and rightly so, a real treat of a song and a highlight of the album. There is a breakdown where we hear how good Jamie’s songwriting abilities really are, the lyrics don’t make sense but are also strangely relatable, I love it. Paper Tapes goes back to the whole Banksy, anti society vibes, it is too heavy, slow and uses a sample in a really weird place – I thought we were over this angst-y Jamie after the first two tracks but apparently not!

Dragon Bones is a lot more fun, slightly funky and I really like the synth used here. The song is seemingly random words - if you actually listen to the lyrics it means nothing, but who cares when you’re rocking around the room to the dance-y beat? Joan Of Arc and Solomon Eagle are next and they sound identical; incredibly average rock tracks that it wouldn’t be rude to say are on the album to make up the numbers. Robin Hood is another highlight, again more upbeat and a good little track. Sign Of The Times is one of the best tracks of the album and showcases Jamie’s ability as a musician, the song is mainly just his voice on top of a distorted baritone guitar (bit of a disclaimer – that’s a guess, it might not be but it sounds very much like one). It’s a slow ballad like song with a better use of sample to previously.

Self Esteem ends the album and it pretty much combines elements of each song into a five minute grand conclusion,. As much as I would skip the song if it came on on shuffle, to end Trick it actually works very well. For me the album is incredibly hit and miss, the songs I have said I like I really really like, the ones I have slated a bit I really don’t like. It is almost two halves of different albums placed side by side and it doesn’t make sense. I would recommend listening if you have liked any of his previous stuff as there will be a track or two you like, but I would also be surprised if you liked them all. It’s an odd one with moments of genius.