Artists will often go through different stages of their career, reinventing themselves and trying their hand at something a bit different. We’ve seen it several times – some work and some don’t.
Jamie Treays went through somewhat of a transition on his previous album, Carry On The Grudge, which was welcomed with mixed reviews, replacing the upbeat, fast tempo, rap/guitar sound with a more downbeat, melancholic, reflective sound. He’s always been a master of social commentary speaking about things most 20 somethings can relate to. But it now seems Treays, who’s first album came out at the tender age of 21, has shifted his focus once again and brought back some of the old Jamie T who was hailed as the indie/rap pin up boy of his era.
It seems Jamie has understood the thirst from his audience for his tongue in cheek approach to music without losing the vulnerability and heart-on-sleeve trait he’s always had. Treays has had a knack to not only make an album that on the whole pleases, but also manages to convey everything that’s on the now 30-year olds mind.
Album opener ‘Tinfoil Boy’ leads you into a false sense that the album is merely a follow on from Carry On The Grudge with its dark, sinister and aggressive sound. Lyrics such as “it’s times like this I feel tricked into waking up” further cement the comparisons to COTG. As it progresses it brings together elements of his three previous pieces of work into one, adding more evidence to the case that there few at the forefront of music with the Jamie T sound.
‘Drones’ showcases his ability to bring several genres into play with quick rapping, a wobbling synth sound and singing added to the mix. This is followed up by ‘Power Over Men’ which could be mistaken for a pop song written by many of today’s various boy bands. It’s with track four that the album really starts to nod to Panic Prevention and Kings & Queens. Even though it’s quite difficult to derive what it is he’s trying to say with ‘Tescoland’, it will be an instant live hit on his forthcoming tour and probably into next years festival season with the clear opening for crowd participation.
‘Dragon Bones’, ‘Joan of Arc’ and ‘Robin Hood’ continue the theme of the first two albums but don’t get too chirpy because tracks such as ‘Police Tapes’, ‘Solomon Eagle’ and ‘Self Esteem’ quickly reminds you of his darker side. Suicide seems to be a theme that is mentioned a few times throughout and he’s often opened up about his battle with anxiety so it’s no surprise that at times it can be a difficult listen, but stick with it as it’s also sprinkled with some of that Jamie T charm we feel in love with back in the day.
Trick is out now via Virgin Records.