Jamie T.

Carry on the Grudge

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Snarling and rapping his smart lyrics since 2007, the genre-spanning Jamie T. pops his heads up once in a while, grabs some NME awards, and lands on various Best Albums of the Year lists, and then disappears into the ether, perhaps unhappy that he's been tagged as pop music's future. Carry on the Grudge is a brilliant title for Comet Jamie T.'s 2014 return because five years off and he's still snarling at the injustice in the world, but as opener "Limits Lie" displays, he's able to take this universal hurt on at a bluesman's pace, making the high-volume weeping and wailing during the song's chorus quite effective. An ode to the Clash, the great "Zombie" sounds like Damon Albarn did the singing, the Black Keys did the playing, and Shaun Ryder wrote the lyrics, while "Rabbit Hole" is the rap-rock revolution that U2 toyed with, now perfected. All these cool influences and Jamie is still an identifiable artist as the poignancy and the wordplay here is entirely T., and with "Love Is Only a Heartbeat Away," he's reached a new plateau, offering "you better save it for your darkest of days" over an acoustic guitar as Warren Zevon smiles from above. Shame he's keeping a twice-a-decade pace, but this album should stick to the bones for twice that long, likely longer.

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