JAMIESON – Complete

Slow on the uptake as ever, this song only really grabbed me when I heard it being played in Next. Is there something about retail outlet sound-systems that makes great pop stand out? The acoustics? The relief from the horror of clothing stores? But, as the old copy of Heat I was reading while waiting for my carry-out in DIY Thai at the end of our street on Sunday points out, Complete is indeed a deeply strange track. Itseem to be happening at three different speeds at once — twangy half Dido / half Chilli Peppers-on-benolyn guitar figure; r&b schmaltz vocals; and drum and bass-lite backing track. What I’d thought at first was just another pop song has been stuck in my head for weeks now.

For once, the words are as fractured as the music: ‘complete’ seems to be both the fulfillment of the romantic dyad (I am complete now I have you) and its total evacuation through isolation (having lost you I am now complete (self-sufficient) again), all at the same time. To be ‘complete’ seems to be subtracted from the push-and-pull of desire and (possible) rejection: but whether this is a good thing or a bad thing remains to be decided. And there’s a strong suggestion (to me, anyway) that this is a song from beyond the grave: the singer is complete because at rest, enchanted to a stone, and now forever ‘locked inside your mind’. Completion is both offered up to and withheld from the listener, just as the song’s languour and urgency don’t alternate (slow / fast / slow / fast) so much as collide.