Sometimes I wonder if I would know when I was listening to a recently released album set to become a classic, something that will be listened to for years to come - a Desert Island Disc choice for Dizzee Rascal's daughter in 2040, perhaps. Would I know, listening to Abbey Road in 1969, that it was really special? Maybe you can only firmly stamp the 'ACTUALLY AMAZING FOREVER' label after a few decades have slipped by, when a generation of people who weren't even born when it was released - cut off from its immediate context - pick it up. Something that will never happen for an album so deeply rooted in it's contemporaneity as, say, Burial's Burial or Basshunter's Now You're Gone - The Album.
Maybe. But surely there are attributes that can be recognised at the time: just the right variety in the style of the tracks; a collection of well-drawn sentiments; a spark that means you're torn between listening to it on repeat forever and ringing all of your friends to tell them to put it on IMMEDIATELY. Jamie T's new release 'Kings and Queens' nails each of these.
A real step forward from the lovely mess of Panic Prevention, the record strolls through some recognisable posturing in 'Sticks 'n' Stones' and 'Chaka Demus', stripped down beauty in 'Spider's Web', and ends with an incredible suite of three songs that show a maturity unimaginable in its predecessor. A brilliant piece of work that is at least a contender for album of the year, and potentially the source of future discussion with a geriatric Kirsty Young.
Jamie T - Spiders Web .mp3