Sunday, 7 July 2019

Slowthai "Nothing Great About Britain" (2019)

This debut album by up and coming Grime rapper Slowthai sets a candid tone from the offset with its "Nothing Great About Britain" title. Its a striking statement reflecting the albums mood and grim outlook on the failed estates of England's working class. With a sharp talent for the mic, a unique vocal inflections on pronunciation and a fine set of instrumentals this makes for a riotous listen. Despite the lingering gritty gloom of his pessimistic perspective, the tales and story's of urban life trapped on this island are captivating and elevated by the energy he packs. Sturdy rhyme skills, boisterous presence and ripe youthful vitality, Slowthai can be playful and cheeky at times with no shortage of attitude but beneath it all lies thoughtful expressions that offers a lot to think on for the challenges of the youth in this country today.

Socially and politically aware, Tyron tackles the hardest of topics including mental health, poverty and drug abuse with a raw and unapologetic attitude to make light of itself in the haze of his exuberant liveliness. Hailing from Northampton he embraces his identity and heritage without pride but an authenticity that is a firm fit for the Grime sound. Going through all the temperaments he can take this sound to measured places. Doorman has a fantastic Punk energy to match his accent drenched singing, it flows between typically styled Grime beats, influenced by the likes of early Dizzee Rascal. In other tracks like Gorgous, Crack and Toaster, he slips into more soulful and reflective flow, showing a sensitive, appreciative side to himself too. The last three songs dive deeper into the dark and the album packs an absolute banger with Inglorious, featuring Skepta who delivers a veterans rap. Its a wild song, a big booming baseline with heavy lyrics cruising over the crusing beat.

Eleven tracks at thirty two minutes, the young artist makes an autobiographical arrival with a curated experience seeking quality over content. Luring you in with lively instrumentals you'll stay for the authenticity. Slowthai is a big persona, animating himself vividly with clever lyricism and the occasional implementation of his unique high pitched vocal slur. At times his words do fall to folly, taking aims at the royals with little said on why for example. He is at his best when giving personal tales and thoughts of which there are plenty. If he grows as an artist he could go on to do great things. This debut is not without its flaws but it shows his spark effortlessly.

Favorite Tracks: Doorman, Inglorious, Northampton's Child
Rating: 8/10