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Jamie T - The Theory of Whatever (Album Review)

Wednesday, 27 July 2022 Written by Craig Howieson

Photo: Reuben Bastienne-Lewis

We have become accustomed to protracted absences from Jamie T. Five years separated his second LP ‘Kings and Queens’ and its follow up ‘Carry On The Grudge’, and it is now close to six since his last full length, ‘Trick’. The panic that he may not return at all has dissipated since that first hiatus, though, with fans knowing that he was likely doing what he always does: writing, writing, then writing some more.

That being said, there was a palpable sigh of relief that accompanied the south Londoner’s performance at Glastonbury earlier in the summer. In a revelatory confirmation of his return, he tore through a hit-packed, career-spanning set that acted as a timely reminder of his pedigree. A peppering of new tracks also hinted at another impressive record waiting to be dropped.

That record is ‘The Theory Of Whatever’ and it finds the songwriter, born Jamie Treays, in rude creative health. Lead single The Old Style Raiders bears all the hallmarks of an anthem on par with Zombie and Sticks and Stones.

Treays’ verbal gymnastics also show no signs of having aged over the last few years and on British Hell and Between the Rocks his rhymes once again rub up against harsh sound collages that reflect the non-fiction of a fractured Britain. 

On The Terror Of Lambeth Love, Treays sings “Goodbye rose-tinted,” as though he is casting off a romanticised view he once held. This may seem an odd line from someone who has always presented himself and his surroundings warts and all, and it is something of an outlier.

But even if ‘The Theory Of Whatever’ remains rooted in the cracks that might swallow us whole, it does provide a few curve balls. A disintegrating Blackpool glamour opens A Million & One Ways to Die, as power-pop guitars chime before thundering into an all out pop punk banger. On the record's quieter moments, such as Talk Is Cheap and the touchingly resonant closer 50,000 Unmarked Bullets, there is added nuance that has been absent from much of his output to date.

Here, an unguarded optimism pierces through any bluster or posturing. It brings a sense of calm to ‘The Theory Of Whatever’, perhaps reflective of the place in life he now finds himself. Despite singing of being ‘rudderless’ on Talk Is Cheap, for the first time Treays seems to be stepping out from the shadow of his hang-ups, confident in being the captain of his own ship.

Jamie T Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Sat July 30 2022 - SOUTHAMPTON Engine Rooms
Mon August 01 2022 - BRIGHTON Chalk
Tue August 02 2022 - COVENTRY Empire
Thu August 04 2022 - LEEDS Brudenell Social Club
Fri August 05 2022 - EDINBURGH Liquid Room
Sun August 07 2022 - LIVERPOOL HANGER 34
Mon August 08 2022 - BRISTOL Thekla
Tue November 08 2022 - GLASGOW O2 Academy Glasgow
Thu November 10 2022 - NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE O2 City Hall
Fri November 11 2022 - BIRMINGHAM O2 Academy Birmingham
Sat November 12 2022 - LEEDS O2 Academy Leeds
Mon November 14 2022 - GLASGOW O2 Academy Glasgow
Tue November 15 2022 - SHEFFIELD O2 Academy Sheffield
Thu November 17 2022 - MANCHESTER O2 Victoria Warehouse
Fri November 18 2022 - LONDON Alexandra Palace
Mon November 21 2022 - CARDIFF Great Hall - Cardiff Uni
Tue November 22 2022 - PORTSMOUTH Portsmouth Guildhall
Wed November 23 2022 - MANCHESTER O2 Victoria Warehouse

Compare & Buy Jamie T Tickets at Stereoboard.com.

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