August 15, 2022

Jamie T – ‘The Theory of Whischer’ review: Return from a star as easy as ever

5 min read

“I don’t give a flying crap anymore,” Jamie T announced emphatically on stage at Glastonbury last month. Rather than a statement of nihilism, it felt like a liberating moment—here, a beloved artist riddled with anxiety and issues, before she was lighting up the lives of indie kids, herself from the stuff of the music business. was liberating before our eyes.

“The Theory of Where,” his fifth album and first in nearly six years, sounds like a similar announcement spanning the John Peel tent. Its title alone suggests an unflattering, unnerving need to find some grand, meaningful title for this latest work, while its content remains exhilaratingly free. Of course, that give-a-nonsense attitude has always been amplified through South London’s (real name Jamie Tress) lyrics – often in parallel with fears and insecurities like ‘Panic Prevention’ – but it seems to be the dominant force here.

Broadly speaking, this is a good — no, great — thing. It would be easy for them to rest on their laurels, even with this barrage of their soul, and single out an album of ‘Sheila’ and ‘Sticks N Stones’ sound, but this album is no phone-in. Retrading is not. Instead their new attitude gives them room to try new things or stick to crappy songs made up to their name, free-falling through genres and sounds, to find things that work.

In the latter, there are a lot of gems. “The Old Style Raiders” — the song that helped Tres find his direction for this record — is a prickly banger with a clear call to fight for the things that mean the most to you. ,toe line / hard to find“He blows on the chorus, the staccato guitar pieces becoming more continuous, the driving burst beneath his voice.”told to fight for the one you love in life“Between the Rocks” – co-written with album producer and former Maccabees guitarist Hugo White – zips up for a later look, and reveals Jamie’s feelings on the music business in detail.It’s hard to find the real one in the room of plagiarists / Everything I write I feel like another vibe is torn“He half-raps at one point before assessing his chosen career path:”No joke, what a way to make a living / Walk in the door and we’ll never stop walking / It’s cynics, critics and half-hearted mimics / Tickets and big guys, they’re fat as thieves to win,

On the more inventive end of the spectrum, ’90s Cars mixes a dreamy post-punk bass riff with shimmering piano melody to create something that feels fresh but familiar. “Keeing Lamborghinis” feels like the darkest, most ominous song ever released by the indie star, with a shadowy atmosphere that pulsates through the track, with vocals chopped off from the bass-y drone at the beginning, rich Things to suppress the synths later. Meanwhile, ‘Saber Tooth’ feels like a nod to ’80s rock and ’00s indie, with its foundation heavy and hard, atop a glacial, piercing guitar line that strikes or blocks. The party can easily fit into the song.

While Trez’s experiment is to be commended, it doesn’t always pan out. “The Terror of Lambeth Love” fumbles and falls through at least the layers after a drug addict who feels like he drank a few drinks too many followed by a few more drinks. “A Million and One New Ways to Die” is the kind of rising anthem often associated with Jamie T and will likely inspire many Mosh Pitt at future gigs, but its chorus is much closer to MOR polished punk – There is no unique character and a type of diet that can be cut and pasted into many other songs without it feeling clumsy.

Jamie T may not give a crap about what anyone else thinks or wants in terms of his music in 2022, but that doesn’t mean the sensibility that’s filtered through his lyrics has been taken away. has gone. On the acoustic ‘Talk Is Cheap’ – which opens with the composer’s announcement: “Sorry” – talks with drugs and mental health and the impact it has had on parts of his life.

,I was having too much coke / A bag of bones“He explains, later adding a slightly more cryptic statement:”A bag of white / I turn black“Concurrently drives the theme of lost love and the desperation to get it back.”Hear you got a new car, a brand new flat / You drink at different bars with different twits“He sings bitterly, but slowly reveals that resentment is only because”i still think i love youIt is poignant and powerful – proof that beneath the brutality, there is still much.

A decade and a half after her seminal debut album ‘Panic Prevention’, most of Trese’s companions who accompanied her are no longer on the scene. Perhaps for refusing to play the game – for being social media savvy, for not going MIA for five years at a time – has done what the industry wants artists to believe can’t. and has given him the longest life of all. Even though he may be at the forefront of British alternative music, however, “The Theory of Wheezer” reveals that – unless he chooses to hit the eject button for himself – Jamie T will spend a lot of time. You should stay here and there.


Jamie T

  • Release Date: 22 July
  • Record Label: Polydor Records

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