In 2014, Jamie T released Carry on the Grudge, his first since 2009’s Kings and Queens. In this most recent album he presented his fans with a new style, or styles, I should say. Jamie T had garnered a reputation for being a one-man Arctic Monkeys, an eccentric street poet who idolized Joe Strummer and the Clash. But he’s more than this, as he’s shown, and he created possibly his most varied album yet.
He still has passion and raunchiness to spare in songs like “Rabbit Hole” and the more critically acclaimed “Zombie,” in which is considerably influenced by early rock and his admiration of the Clash. In his most aggressive track, “Peter,” he personifies his depressed, self-destructive thoughts by making Peter his alter-ego. But these songs are surrounded by something totally different.
“Don’t You Find,” the debut single off the album, is calm and touching, and strange and modern compared to his typical sound; and it’s great. And songs like “Murder of Crows” and “They Told Me it Rained” can only be described as beautiful. His versatility is admirable, but the fact this album is incredibly cohesive from start to finish makes it even more impressive.
It is truly impossible to peg Jamie T’s sound, but Carry on the Grudge is an album like you don’t see nearly often enough anymore. It builds from the tranquil “Limits Lie” and “Don’t You Find” flawlessly into his raunchier tracks and then right back down into his most beautiful songs on this album, ending with “Murder of Crows” and “They Told Me it Rained.”
Jamie T created an incredibly cohesive album filled with varying styles and originality, and he deserves a lot of credit for that.