He may only be 24, but Jack Peñate knows what a renaissance is. Since the Londoner unleashed the first cut from his second album ('Tonight's Today'), he's put naysayers of his previous material into a right tizzy. Y'see, when Peñate released his debut 'Matinee' two years ago, he was treated with a mixture of disdain and jaded indifference: here was another public schoolboy, friends with Adele and The Maccabees, playing the 'Cockney wideboy' character for no apparent reason. With the benefit of hindsight, and on the back of his new-found popularity, Peñate would probably agree himself that it was an album that he thought he should have made, rather than one he actually wanted to.
Fast-forward two years, and 'Everything is New' does pretty much what it says on the tin. The only danger with such a record is peoples' propensity to declare something 'amazing', just because it's a change of direction: 'different' doesn't necessarily equate to 'good'. Thankfully for the singer/songwriter, he's made an extremely likeable second album under the watchful eye of producer Paul Epworth.
This is Peñate's record, but Epworth's influence can't be discounted, either. Most of these tracks are much more beat-oriented than before: 'Tonight's Today' and 'Everything is New' have an almost Caribbean carnival vibe to them, while the quirky pop of 'Let's All Die' is like something Mungo Jerry would have come up with in their prime. Elsewhere, there's a definite Mediterranean vibe; the glistening euphoria of 'So Near' builds and builds like an Ibiza club track, while 'Give Yourself Away' is a bastard-son-of-the-Gipsy Kings gem.
Your initial reaction to 'Everything is New' may be one of scepticism, despite its growing power - and it won't redefine your musical landscape. As reinventions go, though, it's a giant, wide-eyed leap in the right direction.