C3S6CD3 This album was released in 2001 and I’m guessing that I haven’t listened to it since maybe 2003, so when I read the sticker on the front of the album to hear it described as ‘...stunning’ 4/5 Q Magazine and 8/10 NME, I wondered how this album would stand up 10 years on.
The quote from NME likens Jay to Elliot Smith a parallel that would run far too close in 2003. In the autumn of 2003 they would die within a month of each other and at first both deaths would be attributed to suicide. As time has moved on this has been questioned as to whether this cause of death was incorrect and especially in the case of Jay it would be proved to be incorrect. It was suspected that Jay was on his own when he fell from the balcony of his apartment but this has been questioned. He had parted from his record company EMI but had not mentioned he was depressed and in fact was recording new material (that would be posthumously released) and in the absence of a suicide note an open verdict was recorded at the inquest into his death. What I know is the music lost a talent and a bit like Nick Drake he had no idea how people would appreciate his music as time went on.
The album opens with the wonderful Four Minute Rebellion and following this are Let Your Shoulder Fall and You’re Always Going Too Soon, these three tracks really set the scene for the album but listening to it now maybe they are its best moments. It’s not as if the rest of the album is poor but it feel as if it’s of a moment, the arrangements and production don’t sound right for 2011. Some albums are ageless and it’s very hard without reference to determine when they are recorded but this album isn’t one of them.
Matthew Jays death was a sad lost for the music industry as this album has moments that showed Jays real talent but sadly the album hasn’t really stood the test of time.