All the 30 plus years of Jamie C’s musical legacy can be discovered through the opening two tracks on Jamie’s album, entitled “Time For A Change”. Track one, “Falling For You”, jumps out of the box all smothered in it’s warm and upbeat Country-Pop stylistics – lots of uplifting melody, keyboards, guitars and a stomping beat.
It’s really hard not to move some part of your body to this one. Track two, “Raise your Drinks” ft. Tee Cheri Babie, which is also the album’s lead single single, kicks off with a strumming acoustic guitar, fooling you into believing you’ll be delivered the same sonic ambience as the opening track…until the synth pads kick in. Then in slips the edgy, processed lead vocal, an absolute must in the EDM scenario now. Further on in the track, Tee Cheri Babie throws in another compulsory element in the winning formula – a rap verse.
And now what we have here is a track that would make a global dance music superstar like Avicii, listen in awe. For just like Avicii, Jamie C holds strong on melody and exceeds the number of hooks legally allowed in electro-pop anthems. The synths and guitar chords dance against the bassline and almost do the work for those with two left feet, who will no doubt be heading to the dance-floor in droves when “Raise your Drinks” ft. Tee Cheri Babie hits the turntables.
The EDM bug continues on “Touch”, albeit less frenetically, with a beat that ebbs and flows between breakdown and smooth four-to the four tempos. Melody is still a consistent feature here. And then all at once Jamie C throws a spanner in the works, as right in the middle of the album, up pops the reggae track, “Home” ft. Curtisay. To be honest, Jamie’s far-reaching vocal range is well suited to this genre, and he pulls this grooving track off with simplicity and absolute ease. Watch for the key and tempo change in this song – sublime to say the least.
It’s back to the electro-pop grind, on both “Moving On” and “Hold On Me”, where Jamie continues to showcase his strong vocal capabilities and his clear-cut knack writing catchy melodies. “Put Another Record On” starts off with a delicious vocal harmony and moves forward with a gorgeous retro pop-rock feel, before the album closes with the piano-driven power ballad, “Here For Me”.
The one laudable factor that transpires throughout this entire album has to be the production work done at Guitarra Music Studios (www.guitarra.ca), as well as the engineering, mixing and mastering by Dan Schmuland. It is so easy these days when producing with any EDM related music, to fall into what I call the “cheesy” trap.
And that is opening the studio floodgates and bringing in the effects by the truckload. It is a genre that almost beckons for the ultra-use of technology in just about every hook and bar of a song. It takes a firm hand and a steady will not succumb to these temptations, and yet keep the tracks trendy and relevant. Dan Schmuland has certainly succeeded in perfectly coloring and texturing Jamie C’s musical creations, without overwhelming its content.
All in all “Time For A Change” is a thoroughly enjoyable listen, with just enough electro-pop edge and classic pop melody, to appeal to a wide-ranging audience. On the dancefloor, or in your headphones, either way this album will assure sonic bliss!
MORE ABOUT JAMIE C: Jamie started taking piano lessons in grade 1 and went on for about 5 years. And while other kids were getting walk-mans at the time, Jamie asked for a cassette player with recording functions, making his intent clear from an early age. He would record himself at home playing the piano, and then take the recording to his divorced Dad for further evaluation. Jamie picked up guitar when he was 19, learning through Dan Schmuland of Guitarra Music Studios. Yes, the same man who would eventually record and produce his “Time For A Change” album.