Jack Penate – Everything Is New (XL) 22/06/2009

June 22, 2009 by  

Jack Peante

Last time Jack Penate released an album Kate Nash’s brand of ‘Coronation Street’ pop was slowly creeping up the charts and anyone wanting to get a record contract adopted a mockney accent and played watered down Libertines songs. It was this turgid scene that saw the singer/songwriter find his fame, and unfortunately for him become the scorn of many a music lover. Two years on and the music scene couldn’t be anymore different. With futuristic electro beeps ruling the airwaves surely Mr Penate is in need of a little re-invention.

Previous singles ‘Be The One’ and ‘Tonight’s The Day’ have already hinted at an overtly different approach to song writing. Bolstered by a new supporting cast of musicians, gone are the Smithsarian guitars and chirpy choruses, in their place now are intricate horn sections and tropical rhythms. This may just sound like jumping on yet anther bandwagon, but on ‘Everything Is New’ Jack manages to carve out his own niche in pop music. Throughout, there is a Balearic tone to the album, which clearly owes a lot to the likes of Can and Fela Kuti, and more importantly gone are the introspective lyrics which made his debut a little turgid. Surely credit has to be given to producer Paul Epworth for such a drastic change? Well yes. Judging by Penate’s previous efforts you can’t help but feel if it wasn’t for him the album’s eclectic appeal wouldn’t be present. Although, despite Epworth’s clear presence, credit has to be given to Penate for creating a diverse and accomplished pop record.

At only nine tracks in length the album is a little short, and Penate’s direct input on songs such as ‘Give Yourself away’ is questionable. Not so much as a concept album, but more of a much needed musical update, Everything Is New might have just breathed new life into an artist in desperate need of resuscitation.

[rating:4]

By Chris Cummins


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