Jamie T - Kings and Queens
Oli Shilling 13/12/2009
The scrappiness has gone, and the 'love it or hate it' rapping has been softened making Kings and Queens a tighter album than Jamie Treay's debut, Panic Prevention. The charismatic storyteller has developed his style to create a successful follow up, overcoming the 'difficult second album' hurdle with ease.
The wordplay is as witty and as sharp as The Streets at their best, with quips like “Obama sounds like Osama to me” (from 'Spiders Web') being a notable favourite line. All the while, the likes of 'Chaka Demus', 'The Man's Machine' and 'Sticks 'N' Stones' are sure to be heard on the dance floor as regularly as I drink beer (at least once a night, honestly).
Jamie's style of songwriting has certainly improved. Some tracks develop an electro sound that's new to his fans, but certainly works well, particularly on 'Castro Dies' where 'T' returns to some quicker rapping which is more tactfully placed than in his debut.
Standout tracks for me, however, has to be the slower 'Emily's Heart' and 'Jilly Armeen' where Jamie's weary vocals are backed solely by acoustic guitar instead of his customary bass lines, and express an emotional side to the Wimbledon troubadour that hasn't been experienced previously.
Overall a very convincing follow-up, packed with brilliant tracks and brilliant lyrics that are worthy of severable enjoyable listens.