This is the second album from the incredibly talented and passionate Jamie McDermott. The first record, 'Newclear Skies', was a predominantly acoustic affair, building towering soundscapes derived from Jamie's incredible Buckley-esque voice against a windswept backdrop of acoustic guitars and minimal keyboard textures.
Most of all on the first record, the poppiness was the draw of the songs, all individually strong in their melodic hooks, and vocal performance was restrained to a respectful representation of the tunes.
Not so on 'Nude'. On this follow-up, Jamie has literally stripped back his clothes, his emotions and his arrangements to just him and a guitar doing what he does best, singing his heart straight off the rails of the sensual rollercoaster.
The cover features a naked Jamie with just his guitar covering his modesty, and a bulb illuminating his bowed head, and newly ripped physique. The packaging is deliberately handwritten and held together with masking tape.
The songs are the sound of a man coming of age, most of the recordings performed live as they came, some with tuning included and little snatches of between-song chatter. Mistakes are left in, and imperfections accepted as part of the flow. If you have ever been to one of Jamie's incandescent live performances, you will know the power of his presence inherent in the voice and the intimacy of his delivery, ranging from desperately quiet to banshee-loud.
Standout tracks are difficult to locate with the sparsity of the arrangement, but 'Our World It Fell', 'Pale Sweet Healing' and 'God Give Me a Night Out' reflect the wealth of songwriting talent that embarrasses the listener.
This is the sound of a musical prodigy performing in your room, in your head, in your emotions, warts and all. My only criticism, and the reason that it drops a half star, is that the first album promised a proper cross over to the pop world, and I still think that with the right arrangements, this amazing performer will reach the heights of Jeff Buckley, and bring the talent of this performer to the audience it so richly deserves.
9Alice Dream's Score