Jamie T - Carry On The Grudge

Carry On The Grudge gives little hint to what Jamie Treay has been doing for the past five years, picking up as it does largely from where Kings & Queens left things off. Any thoughts that he would use the time to radically alter his sound are unfounded; instead this third album consolidates rather than innovates, choosing to further hone that blend of London sounds, 2-Tone and Joe-Meek-in-a-bedroom-studio approach that took his last effort to number two in the charts.

Now in his late 20s, there's a more resigned air to Treay's work, as if the complexities of adulthood are weighing heavily ("Don't you find that there is always someone on your mind?"), reflected in a more downbeat vibe. 'Zombie' - with its absurd Addams Family-style breakdown - is one of only two out-and-out bangers, so attention turns to the sharp shifts of 'Turn On The Light' which pirouettes between melody and more strained, anxious elements - the latter reaching a peak with the dark psychosis of 'Peter'. Treay's way with a nagging hook comes through with repeat plays, so what seems like a flatter listen initially soon blossoms into something really rather rewarding. 'They Told Me It Rained' is the kind of honest album closer that was once a given; you might even be moved to think this is the record Damon Albarn thinks he's making - but isn't. There may not be many belly laughs in this particular Carry On ... but no-one will begrudge JT a few more sequels of a similar grade.



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