1 August 2009

>>>Jack Peñate>>>Everything Is New>>>
When you think of soul music, you think of the sharp suits, o-zone destroying hairstyles, dance routines, ever-perky singers, joyful bands and superb songwriting. You do not think of a Londoner with superskinny jeans, big phat Nikes and a worrying likeness to a young George Michael. But Jack Peñate has transformed himself from continually-chirpy LDN scene troubador to the most soulful singer-songwriter of the last decade or so, even if his brand of soul is a mish-mash of most hip genres of the minute. Whilst his debut 'Matinee' was high on enthusiasm but lacked consistenly good tunes, Peñate's second effort 'Everything Is New' adheres to it's title.

New sound, new look, new songs (obviously) and it would appear a new found sense of purpose. Over the 9 tracks (and noone should moan about there only being nine, Bon Iver's For Emma, Forever Ago had the same and everyone practically orgasmed over that) Peñate's produced basically what can be seen as this year's version of Vampire Weekend's album; a perfect summer album, that has both depth and substance.

Drafting in Paul Epworth to produce has to be one of the smartest moves Penate has made. The production is tight, not muddy and slightly lo-fi (to my ears) but not dull thanks to a clean, pop sheen. All the songs benefit, and are given room to breathe. The mixture of styles on "Pull My Heart Away", "Body Down" and the title track make it hard to imagine Peñate ever playing the straightforward guitar pop of his debut ever again. But with a set made up purely from this album, it'd be pretty hard to care
ESSENTIAL TRACKS: "Pull My Heart Away", "Be The One", "Everything Is New", "Tonight's Today", "So Near", "Let's All Die", "Body Down"
FOR FANS OF: Jamie T, Florence And The Machine, Vampire Weekend


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