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Jamie Strange - Jamie Strange - 'Thanks For Faking It Sometimes' album review

29 Jul 2009 // A review by Miss_Jukebox
Fake; it is the four-letter word begging with ‘F” that no one dares to say. But today is the era of imitation. Life is full of faux fur, Botox and fake tans. Plastic blow-up dolls are saving people from their loneliness. Fake orgasms have salvaged a many intimate nights. Who can tell the difference between fake and real? ‘Fake IS the new real’ according to singer/ songwriter Jamie Strange, and he is absolutely correct.

Thanks for Faking It Sometimes is the debut album Jamie Strange and the album is a conventional pop/rock collection of tracks that attempts to delve into the depths of the dichotomy between authentic and imitation, and about finding your true self. This is what Jamie and Miss Brightstar (the mannequin on the album cover) represent; a juxtaposition between real and fake, all wrapped up in buoyant and catchy tunes.

The opening track is “I Wonder” and it is an appropriate opener with the chorus exclaiming “I wonder will I be a famous rockstar?” Subsequent track “Rockstar Clone” follows along the same lines as the former, touching on all the trivial questions of life and of fame. “High School Crush” is a duet with Kelly Slattery that brings it all back to youth and young love.

“Trust” is where Jamie pulls away from the superficial. It is slower-paced building up to a gospel and soulful chant. But the song also reveals the highlight of the album where Jamie sings with just the piano. It is earthy and honest and you get a glimpse of the real artist.

“My Life” returns back to the school scene with a grittier pop/punk song about the trials and pressures of adolescence. “Driving Late at Night” is a pop track that is laced with romance. “Screaming without Words” which features Andrew Killick, is a shadowy song that is attempting to reach beyond the first dimension. It is apparent that Jamie wants to connect with listeners in this song and it feels aimed towards the hollowness of humanity.

“Light at The End of the Tunnel” is a standout song that would be a great release track, certainly worthy of airplay. “Who am I?” asks the quintessential question of life. Sincere and well composed, out of nowhere the song features a hip hop flavour from Rhymin B which works surprisingly well with the rock melodies.

Jamie Strange is akin to bands such as Goodnight Nurse and Elemeno P. Like these acts, this album will mostly appeal to the teenage audience. This is because it is so relevant to what it is to be a teenager. The final track, “Empty Dreams” is an appropriate concluding track as it encapsulates what youth is, has been and always will be; something that runs throughout the album in its entirety.

Will Jamie Strange be a rockstar? Thanks for Faking It Sometimes is an interesting album. Once it breaks through the superficiality it has moments of real potential, particularly in the three notable tracks; “Trust,” ”Light at the End of the Tunnel” and “Who am I?” The binary of real and fake is cleverly presented. There are tracks that have that over-processed feel but they are contrasted with those moments where Jamie lets you peer into what is bona fide. So to be fair, thanks Jamie for only faking it sometimes because those moments when he keeps it real are worth wondering about.

-Janise
 

About Jamie Strange

Jamie Strange is a pop/rock artist from Hamilton. His band consists of himself, Kate Brightstar (mannequin), and Wee Man (dwarf). Kate's main responsibilities are to provide emotional support and look good in the photos, while Wee Man's role currently consists of cameo music video appearances.

Jamie has been writing and recording songs since teaching himself to play the guitar during one summer holiday while at High School. Jamie's debut album 'Thanks For Faking It Sometimes' is due out Monday 17 August 2009. It explores the themes of faking it as a rock star, unfulfilled dreams, and a search for purpose and identity. This tongue-in-cheek ethos can be seen in the track listing and in his lyrics on the album. His songs are fun-filled and quirky with a lean towards Weezer, Elemeno P and All American Rejects, while his slower ones are more melancholic.

Jamie fully self-funded the album through renovating and selling three houses, even though he admits to being "DIY Challenged'. He plans to market the album through a campaign aimed at creating a mystery around the theme "Who is Jamie Strange?" including a series of clips on YouTube which follow this theme. In June, one of his YouTube clips featured on the new American MTV show "DJ & The Fro".

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Jamie Strange

Releases

Thanks For Faking It Sometimes
Year: 2009
Type: Album

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