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jamie webster

WE REVIEW THE NEW ALBUM FROM JAMIE WEBSTER – 10 FOR THE PEOPLE

Liverpool’s Jamie Webster needs little introduction. With two Top 10 albums as well as a slot at the world-famous Glastonbury festival in 2023, he has already built up a solid following of fans. Now, Jamie presents his third studio album, ‘10 For The People’.

The album took me by surprise; upon a first listen I was of the opinion there was nothing I had not heard before. That being said the more I listened the more I started to understand why this artist is growing as fast as he is. The album features impressive storytelling, with an expressive voice singing just shy of a dozen catchy, yet surprisingly in-depth tracks.

Better Day

‘Better Day’ is a solid start to the album, featuring some great instrumentation that fills out the track, including a choir in the chorus as well as the use of brass instruments giving the song an uplifting sound overall.

This complements the lyrical context beautifully, as it becomes immediately apparent that Jamie’s aforementioned storytelling ability makes itself known. Telling the story of where he started, and how he now has the platform to be a voice to stand up for the people. The choir drives this idea home, and the bassline throughout the song is the cherry on top.

Voice Of The Voiceless

Next up is a more minor-sounding song compared to the uplifting nature of the first. It also features a more frantic pace thanks to the drums and the acoustic keeping a solid rhythm throughout the runtime. The chorus is dead catchy with a lead vocal line and melody that is sure to stick with the listener even after one listen. The lead guitar parts that show up provide a great alternative to the vocal parts, always carrying a melody throughout the song, even when the vocals stop. My only complaint here is that the song ends a little abruptly.  

Lovers In The Supermarket

‘Lovers in the Supermarket’ is next up and has a heavy emphasis on the lyrics and the storytelling. This song is cute, as it talks about the passing observations of couples going food shopping together. It is interesting, as each chorus features different lyrics that continue a heartwarming narrative, with a bit of tongue and cheek thrown in for good measure. The line at the end of each chorus stays the same and ties the song together marvellously.

Dolly Bird

The next song features a strong Britpop influence in its sound, which is a welcome change of pace. This is true for the rest of the album, but the production here in particular is excellent. Everything has so much punch and each element is crystal clear. The first half of the song builds up to a brighter second half that evolves the sound and keeps the song fresh, with Jamie showing off some of his higher vocal range. The bass in the second half is great, with a little lick that adds a ton of personality. Once again though, I feel like the way the song ends is a little anticlimactic. Even something like ending on a higher note vocally would rectify this, as it just kind of fizzles out.

Fickle Fran (Feat. Billy Bragg)

The story of ‘Fickle Fran’ is an interesting one, providing a commentary on the state of consumerism and how larger corporations are taking over the market, leaving salesmen such as ‘Fickle Fran’ out of work. Billy Bragg makes an appearance in this song by introducing each verse, providing a narrator-like quality to his parts.

That being said, other than the fun vocal motif that repeats throughout the song, musically this song just does not do anything for me. I think this is a case of the focus being too much on the story. A simple structure followed by ANOTHER ending that just kind of fizzles out puts a big dampener on this song.

Looking Good

I’ll start by saying that this next song sounds ‘sunny’. Is that even possible? You’ll know what I mean when you hear it. The brass that greets the listener at the introduction is super fun and is a great way to kick off the track. Throughout the song, it even acts as a fun little chorus motif with some backing vocal accompaniment to top it off beautifully. This is another song I’d describe as cute, it was clearly written with someone in mind. Some powerful vocals in the outro provide a great way to play out the song.

Sing Your Tears

This a heartfelt song that has a more sombre tone to it. The main vocal part here is designed for one to sing out loud. Accompanying this is a string section that swells, adding even more to the emotional subject matter of the song. There isn’t much more to say here, other than the fact it is another solid addition to the album.

The Boy (Chapter 1)

‘The Boy’ is the first in a two-part story. A lead guitar drone carries a nice lead throughout the verse sections of this song. That being said, this is another song that does not do too much. The main vocal melody is a little uninspired and doesn’t have much of a hook to latch onto. I believe that this is another example of lyrical content and storytelling getting in the way of the musical aspect of the track, hurting it overall.

The Girl (Chapter 2)

Chapter 2 fares much better than the previous part. It features much more of an atmosphere, with a softer sound. The chorus features some great vocals with a nice hook that hides plenty of emotion. Also included is a great range of instruments, including an electric piano and some strings that are cohesive with a lead guitar part. This all culminates in a guitar solo towards the end which is a welcome addition to a solid track.

This song fixes all the problems I have with Chapter 1; it has more interesting musical components and distinct sections that all culminate in a solid track.

Something To Eat

‘Something To Eat’ is high energy, and is a direct dig at the state of British politics and many of the struggles that we are facing today. The lyrical content is very on the nose, and is sure to have many people rallied alongside Jamie. The use of audio clips from news broadcasts further solidifies this as a politically charged track.

How Do You Sleep At Night

‘How Do You Sleep At Night’ is a soft way to play out the album. The softer vocals throughout the song feature a touch of reverb that gives off the effect of Jamie pleading with the recipient of this message. This is a beautiful song with dark undertones; it comes across as a further extension of the previous track, and I believe that this is a more effective way of trying to send a message.

Jamie’s voice is at his most soulful here, with cracks in his voice working well pulling the heartstrings of the listener. The vocal harmonies that appear here add to the soundscape and top everything off beautifully.

This is an impressive release for Jamie Webster. The album has a strong start, however, it trails off towards the end thanks to some weaker songs that do not bring too much to the table. Lyrically this is fantastic, though I think certain songs suffer musically as a result of too much focus on this aspect.

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