on 9 September 2009
I bought this after listening to Jamie T do his thing in the live lounge. To be honest I was only interested in Chaka Demus and wasn't really expecting much from the rest of the album. How wrong I was. This whole album is fantastic, I am so pleased I went for the whole album and not a single download. Kings & Queens has earned it's royal place as one of my favorite albums bought this year.
Jamie T's 2007 debut was a hit and miss affair, with a whole bunch of great tunes and plenty of filler. Its genre-hopping and Jamie T's unique voice and lyricism made it a fascinating and often rewarding listen, but still nonetheless not a complete experience.
More than two years on, the follow-up album finally arrives and is everything a second album should be. Too many modern artists procrastinate following up their debut for so long that when it finally arrives, the band's sound has evolved beyond all recognition, usually more mainstream and commercialised. But while it's true Kings And Queens is poppier than its predecessor (although with songs like 'Sheila' and 'If You've Got The Money,' that was no slouch in the tune department) it retains Jamie T's individuality.
Where Panic Prevention was a collection of songs, Kings And Queens is a real album. Its swampy, late-night feel continues from start to finish, rarely picking up beyond a laid back tempo. Opener '368' sets the otherworldy scene with its off-kilter, pitchshifted chorus and staggering beat. 'Emily's Heart' meanwhile, is a downbeat acoustic ballad continuing where the last album's 'Back In The Game' left off. Best of all is 'Castro Dies,' a perfect storm of hooks, razor-sharp hip-hop, beats and bassline.
So many of the 21st Century's new artists simply give up by album two or forget what made them unique. Jamie T has built on his formula to make a second album far better than his first. His next move will doubtless be fascinating.
on 17 December 2009
I was a fan of Mr. T's first album, and in my opinion this, his second offering, shows how he has matured. 'Chaka Demus' is my favourite track, but there are many other really good ones, including 'Sticks and Stones', 'Spiders Web', 'Earth Wind and Fire', and 'British Intelligence'.
If you liked the first album you'll definately like this one, I feel his sound has become fuller and more interesting. His lyrics are great and of course full of wit, and will have you singing along in no time. Just buy it and see what I mean.
I did love Jamie T's debut album 'Panic Prevention', and as soon as I heard it back in 2007, I instantly thought what a great young talent this guy is. Two years later he gave us 'Kings & Queens', a more experimental, mature, polished album and performance. Is it superior? - I would say so.
Like 'Panic Prevention', the songs here display his great passion and affection for his London, as well his tongue-in-cheek takes on modern life, and the witty little digs in the face of political correctness are still present. However, the acoustic ballad (along with the album's closer 'Jilly Armeen') and standout 'Emily's Heart' is very different to Jamie's normal style and offerings. This excellent tune is one of his most soft and tender songs to date, and in the same tradition as Bob Dylan, who is a major influence to so many young and aspiring artists.
My second favourite song here is the electronica-influenced opener, '368', a portrait of street life and the drugs and alcohol. As soon as you play it, followed by the catchy and upbeat 'Hocus Pocus' (easily one of the most accessible tracks), and the energetic driving hit 'Sticks 'n' Stones', you just know that 'Kings & Queens' is going to be good.
A master storyteller, this man's lyrics and vocal delivery are so down-to-earth, that most tracks are instantly very relatable to most listeners. Like Jamie Treays' other albums, this is music that I can play over again, and it still sounds fresh and exciting each time I do. He's real musician, and we should always support the real talent! For fans of The Libertines, The Maccabees, Arctic Monkeys, and Peace.
Now here's a very talented young man to be sure.
Jamie T. (nee Treays) second album 'Kings and Queens'
is, from top to tail, an entertaining and highly
original body of work.
The 11 songs in this new collection build on the strong
foundations laid down in his 2007 debut 'Panic Prevention'.
There is considerably greater maturity in both writing and
production but his raw energy and wit are undiminished.
Sure there's a pinch of this and peck of that in evidence
but Mr T wears his influences and musical loves lightly.
'368' is a powerful opening track.
Dark, disconcerting and electrifying.
'Sticks 'n' Stones' is alone worth the price of the album.
A raucous, driving, pogo-inducing blast of a performance.
Full of hoots and whoops and blistering conviction.
An absolute joy in every way !!
His collaboration with Mr Coupland has resulted in music
of truly exhilarating complexity and imagination.
The calamitous chorus and vigorous vocal delivery of
'The Man's Machine' is a rousing and affecting anthem.
'Emily's Heart' is a stripped down, powerful ballad with a
timelessly convincing quality conveying brutally sculpted emotion.
The finger-picking hokey charm of 'Spider's Web' is funny and smart.
This lad delivers more words per square inch than The Oxford English
Dictionary and Roget's Thesaurus combined.
'Earth, Wind & Fire' is a surreal highlight.
Disjointed, unpredictable but strangely, wonderfully coherent.
Closing track 'Jilly Armeen' is a crazy little masterpiece.
Eccentrically English yet delightfully unconventional.
A riveting and mind-bending achievement.
on 8 September 2009
Bought this on the day of release after thoroughly enjoying his debut album Panic Prevention. This album is as good if not better than his debut. The upbeat melodies and genius lyrics work perfectly well to create an album that in my opinion gets you in a good mood and is happy, but underneath the upbeat are the lyrics which need to be heard for Jamie T to be appreciated. Its not without a couple of surprising songs either, which seem to come out of nowhere, which makes them even more so pleasant. Since buying I have hardly stopped listening to it, just so I can hear the lyrics again and properly.
I highly recommend this album if you enjoyed his first, or just fancy listening to something happy and meaningful.
on 14 September 2009
This was delivered by the postman this morning and I half expected a second album that doesnt quite live up. That seems to be the norm these days?. Not only is this album better than the first, it takes the first album, throws it off a motorway bridge and laffs as it gets run over by large trucks! This is better than most albums Ive heard for the last 10 years. Very very talented! Amazingly intelligent! Pokes a finger in the eye of political correctness sometimes with a slightly edgey tang. Other times its very tounge in cheek. A refreshing take on modern life with outstanding composition. I could bang on about this album all day but I wont. All I say is buy it! Buy your freinds it! Buy it and give it to people in the street! OUTSTANDING!!!!
on 11 February 2013
Jamie T is an artist who does not perform anywhere near often enough. He has done two albums which I adore and each has a quite different selection of sounds on. Would definitely recommend if you like Panic Prevention, even though it is quite different. The melodies are very different but the prose follows in a similar yet evolved way. His lyrics are less formulaic than many other more successful musicians and he requires properly listening to in order to get the most out of it. If you're thinking of getting this, I'd say buy his first album beforehand because it's an enjoyable journey to follow the progression.
on 4 March 2013
I can't wait for the new Jamie T album to come out but until then it's Panic Prevention and Kings and Queens on repeat. Not one bad song on either album. I can't wax lyrical about his songwriting or musical prowess, I'm not a music reviewer, all I know is his music speaks to me.
on 26 November 2009
I ummed and ahhhed about buying this album for a long time but was glad I did. All the tracks are strong and any would work as singles. As well as the singles, my particular favourite is Spiders Web. Definately one of my favoutite albums of 2009.