ALBUM REVIEW: Jamie Lenman – The Atheist


 

Jamie Lenman has been an ongoing stalwart of the alternative rock UK scene since his early days in Reuben. Now with four albums under his belt as a solo act, Lenman has completely reinvented himself and sound to become one of the more eclectic acts England has to offer. After a cover album and a song featuring MC Illaman from Pengshui, where next, could Lenman possibly go? Well, it seems the solo artist has decided to completely disembark his traditional heavier punk rock sound to embrace more indie pop rock avenues with The Atheist (Big Scary Monsters).

 

Opening with a more traditionally Lenman track is ‘This Is All There Is’ the album’s introduction begins as if in a live gig as a crowd chants for Lenman to play. It’s a small detail but adds that jolt of electricity you get from the anticipation of a brand new show. Then the musician bursts into anthemic cheer. The song is completed by the chorus “This is all there is” which in no doubt be yelled by crowds en masse as Lenman plays. There is a sort of exuberant joy as the song continues regardless of the song’s topics. The evident enjoyment of making music is palpable from Lenman’s performance.

 

‘Hospital Tree’ goes headfirst into the whole indie-pop vibe, slowing the music right down and scaling the instrumentation down to a light electric guitar and drums accompanied shortly by some heart-warming guitars for the ballad. If anything, replace Lenman’s voice with a Scottish accent and this could be a perfect slow Biffy Clyro song. The pace quickens halfway through as Lenman sings out passionately “I won’t let you down” another in the long line of emotional passages from the album.

The main single from the album ‘Lena Don’t Leave Me’ may be Lenman’s catchiest, poppiest song to date. In some eyes this can only be used as a detriment to his material, however this could not be further from the truth. Encompassing the bold, vivacious nature of The Darkness in the chorus while musically more similar to the likes of Frank Turner‘s Tape Deck Heart in the main verses, Lenman truly captures the heart in some of the best uplifting music from the country. While solos are often seen as being cheesy, this is no different, but in the best way possible as this heart-filling track plays out to the end.

 

Playing out with the fittingly titled ‘War of Doubt’ Lenman’s soaring vocals mix magnificently alongside some more Biffy-esque guitar patterns. Despite the album disembarking the heavier sounds of King of Clubs, Jamie Lenman’s voice and clear devotion to the music he creates make this feel like he’d always been making this kind of music in the first place.

 

Just like at the beginning of the album, the ‘War of Doubt’ completes the circle bringing back that heartwarming feeling of a perfect performance, anxious to get back into a venue to see it all again soon.

Buy the album here:

https://bsmrocks.com/collections/jamie-lenman

 

8 / 10

CHARLIE HILL