mon 16/12/2019

CD: Jack Peñate - After You | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Jack Peñate - After You

CD: Jack Peñate - After You

Quality indie pop 10 years in the making

'After You': rich and professional, yet stripped back

Do you remember Jack Peñate? His name may have been forgotten by some, or not heard yet by others. But his new album After You, following from Matinée (2007) and Everything is New (2009), is worth the listen for the fans of smart, intricate pop music that is true to the independent vibe. Jack has very audibly moved away from his original playful, naïve indie rock sound which led to his early success, to pursue a much more mature take on making music. But will his original audience follow?

Well, they might, and Peñate is likely to gain some new listeners too, because After You is a clear indication of a journey of learning in artistic self-sufficiency: singing, songwriting, production, and musicianship. Both singles released in advance of the forthcoming album – “Prayer” and “Murderer” – effectively showcase the "earworm" qualities of Peñate’s new material. In fact, all the tracks on this album are different and memorable, from the melancholic and emotionally charged “Cipralex” to the provocative spoken word and instrumental “Gemini”. Themes of struggle, hope and belief are interwoven throughout the album in a sophisticated but honest way, in both sound and lyrics that draw inspiration from diverse music styles and philosophies.

Overall, Peñate has created what might be described as an intelligent pop album: too complex to belong to a generic category but also accessible to a wide audience.  What is particularly cool about it though is the combination of a rich and professional yet stripped-back sound. It emphasises Peñate’s loyalty to a DIY approach to making music that maintains his legitimate position in the independent sector that he is part of as an XL Recordings artist. That said, the album hardly contains any of the original raw energy and fun rock guitar riffs that initially brought recognition and chart success to Peñate a decade or so ago.

Jack has very audibly moved away from his original playful, naïve indie rock sound which led to his early success

rating

Editor Rating: 
3
Average: 3 (1 vote)

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