Britain’s new (actually great) boy wonder

In the VSL tradition of providing early word on British musical wunderkinder (e.g., our September pick Lily Allen, who was the Saturday Night Live musical guest this past weekend), we’re now singing the praises of Jamie T, a sharp-witted, highly inventive singer-songwriter who raps over his own raucous acoustic-guitar playing.

The guy’s only 21, and already his debut CD, Panic Prevention (out 2/15 as an import, but you can stream much of the record online for free right now), has been called “a minor masterpiece” and “perfect pop” by British music critics — who tend to be overheated, but in this case they’re right. His nimble, sing-songy raps about boozy troublemakers, problematic girls and their clumsy entanglements remind us why we love both Eminem and Billy Bragg. Folk rap? Yeah. Who knew?

“>VIEW the videos for “Calm Down Dearest,” “If You Got the Money,” “Sheila,” and “Salvador” — click on the VIDEO link at the top of the page (not necessarily workplace-friendly)

“>HEAR a dozen entire Jamie T songs as free streaming audio at MySpace (not necessarily workplace-friendly)

“>BUY Panic Prevention

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Britain’s new (actually great) boy wonder