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Panic Prevention - Jamie T

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3 Reviews

Genre: Hip-Hop & Rap / Artist: Jamie T / Audio CD released 2007-01-29 at Virgin

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    3 Reviews
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      08.05.2010 18:16
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      Not bad for a Blazin Squad Reject

      Jamie T is an artist who is either liked or disliked by those who hear him. To most he will be unknown but he is a really interesting young performer in my eyes. At times it does seem as though his music is wilfully attempting to put its audience off him with it lo-fi nature or its experiments with sounds and effects, however for me it generally creates an interesting sonic landscape worth a million Boyzone or Westlife clones. Winner of NME Awards and lauded by critics including Zane Lowe, this is an awesome album from a young man who at one point had attempted to Join Blazin Squad This album is great fun, its clear Jamie T is a Londoner but his singing voice is a much greater melding of a drunk Glaswegian and a man confused over whether his family originates from the East Coast or South West of England, but hey that all just adds to the ambience of fun and dusky depravity on this wicked album. Ok, so the tracks are they any good? Honestly at times I'm not sure, for me they are all worth a listen, although sometimes I'm unsure if its because they are just so wildly inventive or if they are truly musically important. Track List: Brand New Bass Guitar - With an opening guitar riff reminiscent of Buddy Holly on Jelly Babies, this is followed by a screeching Jamie T, I love this tune, its about buying a brand new bass guitar meaning he couldn't buy a gun. It includes a ropy chorus of voices, ropy singing all over the song and weird and wonderful sounds coming from all angles, this is actually a well structured song with a great guitar performance, I like this a lot. Salvador - A cool song, it sounds a bit like the Arctic Monkeys on Bacardi Breezers, with a cool throbbing beat throughout and some cool guitar riffs, I like this song, it reminds me of a western set in Jamaica starting a little scally from London out of his depth, this is such good fun, it works on a lot of levels and has influences in the Jam and other bands of that era, but sounds totally original with weird shouted lyrics which are fantastic. Calm Down Dearest - This starts with a drunken Jamie rambling, this is awesome with so many sounds I can't even describe them, it is surprisingly melodic with a wicked chorus and lyrics which make you just want to listen to this all day. This is oddly mainstream for a guy singing about being drunk whilst the backing track moves about like a Penguin on Vermouth. This is nice and really sums up the talents of young Mr T for me and eradicates any images of that bulbous nosed, pompous Winner fellow using this catchphrase on tragically awful insurance adverts on the television. So Lonely was the ballad - Love this, love this, love this (Ok for anyone who thinks I'm using this just to get above 150 words, I'm sure you'll find I will go way past that talking about this album, so stick that in your pipe and smoke it :p). Sometimes the words seem to make no sense but they really do build into a fantastic story, the music is catchy, lovely and like nothing else I've ever heard and that's what I love about this track and the album in general, occasionally you'll hear influences but this is utterly original and brilliant. This song swerves about but it is beautifully eloquent in a teenage bus passenger kind of way. Back in the Game - Nice song, this is one man with his guitar in quite a rewarding little song about coming back from adversity. This showcases how good this guy is as he really is a one man boxset of musical originality playing a variety of instruments, on this song, he sticks to his voice a guitar and produces a winning track. Operation - I'm sure there is a sample of Beaker from the Muppets on this track and David Bowie making cow noises, but then that's what I like about this album, the fact you can imagine what the hell some of the noises are, with a nice distorted keyboard, lots of yelping ,vocoders, moogs, some cool punky vocals and some really good lyrics this is a perfect example of the originality of this talented young fella. Sheila - This is the most famous song from this debut album, with the wicked video of Bob Hoskins mouthing the lyrics walking along the South Bank. This is a great song about a woman called Sheila mixing singing, shouting a bit of London rap, its just a really good story with wonderful lyrics. This is one of my favourite songs and it is probably the most mainstream song on this album. Pacemaker - Nice thrash punk start to this tune, I like the guitars, Jamie T's voice is cool, it always sounds like he's yelping and talking at once, this is a nice arrangement with catchy guitars, nice drums and a good use of his own voice for backing. Dry off your cheeks - I like this, it sounds so much like the Clash vocally, but the nice lo-fi drum machine and distorted organ make this stand out as Mr T, this is a cool song which I can easily imagine listening to in Hoxton whilst sat drinking an overpriced beer from Bhutan and watching the people at the next table wearing sunglasses and cockatiel based haircuts discussing the merits of a band they saw at the Camden Mixer who had the waterskiing cow from the Powergen adverts playing bass. Ike and Tina - A sonic tribute to the Turners, this is not really anything to do with them, this is a voice through a vocoder doing his best Streets impression, but faster with a bit more rhythm. This is an interesting song, with a nice dance beat but its not one of the best songs on the album, although saying that it builds up to a thrilling crescendo reminiscent of Ravel's Bolero or 'Daddy cool' by Boney M. But seriously this is one of the weaker songs on the album for me. If you got the money - The other biggy commercially on the album, this is loverly (sic) with nice use of the lyric de-di-do-da-de-da-do-da-dum-de-di-da-do-da-do-dum (Once again I'm well over 150 words so this isn't bumping it up, its simply a wicked lyric I wanted to share). This song has a great bassline, the lyrics are awesome, the track is a modern classic, its lo-fi, understated and classy as hell. I love this song and I'm sure if you haven't heard it you would too. Alicia Quays - Ok so this is a ramble, but its musically interesting, listen to it a few times and you'll love it, its Jamie T talking with the skill of a drunk over a fine understated beat, lyrically this is awesome. Overall: I listened to this album for the third time when reviewing this and was utterly blown away, when you listen on headphones, you hear so many sounds, its enthralling. I checked and it appears Mr T plays most of the songs arranges them and writes them, this is hugely impressive to me. I know he is awesome live and has followed this album up with another good one. I think this is interesting, has personality and character and doesn't want to be anything other than what it is, there is a lot of use of character sounds, interesting experimentation with organs and guitars and some really interesting ideas. I love this album and think you should give it a try. It is available on Amazon for £4.99, you can always download it from I-tunes too.

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      • More +
        16.07.2009 12:30
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        Well over-rated

        Next up on my Glastonbury album hunt is Jamie T's latest release which I'm waiting to be suggested, in the mean time I thought I'd check out the 2007 album instead first. I had never heard of this artist, can't say he's really made it outside of the UK much. It's easy to see why really. Although his mixture of acoustic guitar, electronic music and hip hop is quite inventive. The material is quite often a load of old rubbish, only held together due to its patterish nature which I actually find pretty irritating after a while. His accent is somewhere between cockney chav and annoying black boy wannabe yet somehow still manages to remind you of a poor version of Devvo. He regularly sings like he has his balls in a vice, somehow croaking/warbling at the same time - so it sounds like an extremely painful experience. Doing a cover of a Billy Bragg song doesn't really make this guy a great artist, he's definitely a bit different from the majority of indie artists out there but that's more due to their boring nature rather than anything spectacular this artist has to offer. There are a few tracks on this album that retain a familiar pop sound whilst having a bit of a twist, usually the vocals - One of the better songs lyrically is the acoustic track "If You Got The Money" , however I feel this is almost destroyed by the words "Deedom domdee dahdah dah deedom domdee" - I hate filler words in songs and this has plenty of them! The odd fake Jamaican wannabe Sting, Ali G like accent does it no favours either. 1 Brand New Bass Guitar 2 Salvador 3 Calm Down Dearest 4 So Lonely Was The Ballad 5 Back In The Game 6 Operation 7 Sheila 8 Pacemake 9 Dry Off Your Cheeks 10 Ike And Tina 11 If You Got The Money 12 Alicia Quays

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        • More +
          20.03.2007 14:39
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          Go on...try it, you may just love it

          Oh in a world where NME-prone indie bands consistently fill the airwaves with music that is a lot of the time merely the Smiths meets the Stone Roses, it's always nice to get something a little 'different'…oh and NME and massive fans of him. This something a little 'different' is Jamie T. The one-man band from London town. I first saw him live, after a recommendation from a friend, last March in a small venue in Nottingham…and twelve months on he can do no wrong. When I saw him that night, it was simply a scraggly looking 20-ish year old, sat on a stool with an electro-acoustic bass guitar, mesmerising an audience of no more than 100. Last month I saw him once again playing to an audience of ten times that, with an entourage of another half-a-dozen on stage with him. The rawness of the first gig was what impressed me most, and for those few that would have seen him before he became 'big', you'd understand that his first album, "Panic Prevention", would have been truly awesome had it been just him and his bass guitar. Unfortunately, it's not, but it still stands up to the need of the general public, who seemingly require a drum kit and numerous sound effects to appreciate it. Opening track, ironically called "Brand New Bass Guitar" is a pacey, exciting opening, if a little messy in places. Jamie himself even says at the end "I think that's the scrappiest version of that I've ever done in my life!" Instantly you can kind of make the link of his vocal styling being a cross between Mike Skinner of the Streets and Alex Turner of the Arctic Monkeys. Second track "Salvador" is one of his single releases, along with "Calm Down Dearest", "Sheila" and "If You Got The Money", so those seemingly unaware of him may have spotted this on the radio or TV. Salvador and Calm Down Dearest are certainly two of, if not the top two, radio-friendly tracks. Calm, melodic choruses and verses that show off his lyric writing ability. "So Lonely Was The Ballad" bursts in with an angry shout and a song about a life of just doing stuff that teenagers do. That's what his 'subject matter' is often about - life, be it good or bad, in the capital city. The obscure use of sound bites in his songs is apparent here - a man speaking about panic attacks?! Interesting… "Back In The Game" is a top tune. Personally, I'd love to see it released as a single. Part of the reason being that, as mentioned at the beginning of proceedings, it's just him and his bass guitar - so basic, yet so like how music of this style should be. The song after this, "Operation" begins so differently, it would be easy to think it's by someone totally different, but then again this shows Jamie T's ability and desire to make each track as unique as possible. The use of just a chant over a drumbeat in the chorus is so catchy it should be illegal…just. His sound in each song may be extravagantly differently, but his style remains the same. The likeness of the love child of the Street and Arctic Monkeys is become more and more evident. Halfway through this one, it could just as easily be Alex Turner of the Monkeys singing to you. Rather odd considering ones from Sheffield and the other from London! "Sheila" was the first ever song I heard by Mr T (so to speak), and this was just before I saw him live for the first time. The use of sound effects is obvious here, bursting in after the introduction and then being used in between segments of the song. A catchy tune if ever there was one, all about boozing and overdosing…a somewhat tasteless topic, yet with the upbeat music playing along with his words, you'd never notice unless writing a review!! "Pacemaker" continues that optimistic music against darkened lyrics, but unfortunately "Dry Off Your Cheeks" is the first sign for me of a song just drifting by the wayside. Mind you, at track 9 on a debut album this is no mean feat, so kudos to Mr T! An interesting tactic is to put "If You Got The Money" so far down the album. At track 11, it's just like the Arctic Monkeys putting "When The Sun Goes Down" at the same point in their debut album. Arguably it's to ensure there's a top track, released as a single, late on, ensuring that some people don't stop listening after about track 6 or 7, others can say though that it proves the album oozes quality, me being one of the latter! "Alicia Quays" round off things. More a rap song than a rock song like many of the others. There's little sign of a guitar, merely drums to begin with. Even still, a half decent song to finish with, just rounding things off as it fades into him singing on his own with a lazy drumbeat in the background. So, a great album or just good? Without wanting to be too 'on the fence'…it's in the middle. Many people won't like it. It sounds different, and very alternative for the traditionalist, but others will love it because of that. It's available from Amazon for £7.98. I recommend it, especially if you like you're music somewhat different from the norm, yet mainstream enough not to put you off. The singles "Calm Down Dearest", "If You Got The Money", "Sheila" and "Salvador" are all worthy tunes, and you may fancy a listen before buying…just to ensure that you know you're going to love it.

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        • Product Details

          Disc #1 Tracklisting
          1 Brand New Bass Guitar
          2 Salvador
          3 Calm Down Dearest
          4 So Lonely Was The Ballad
          5 Back In The Game
          6 Operation
          7 Sheila
          8 Pacemaker
          9 Dry Off Your Cheeks
          10 Ike And Tina
          11 If You Got The Money
          12 Alicia Quays