This efficiently produced pop-drum’n’bass makes a big play out of its old-skool inspiration and credentials, but in reality is a commercial-friendly version of the original raging junglist sound.
Yes, it’s at d&b tempos. Yes, there are some fat basslines. Yes, it will probably sound pretty massive on a club system. But the over-reliance on a very restricted 90s synth palette of smooth chord washes and pads, hollow lead sounds and Orbital style repeating not-quite-melodies, makes for a dated sound. Unfortunately, the trite vocals fail to add much interest either: ‘You know I wished upon a star / You’re gonna show me where you are / I can’t believe I’ve come this far’ or ‘You take me up above the clouds when you’re around’ are not exactly Dizzie Rascal levels of contemporary rhyme making. Being sung by autotuned females in a style more r&b than d&b doesn’t help either.
Bland self-aggrandisement only takes you so far.
There is also a slight irritation caused when a rapper says ‘I’m speaking out, hear me out’, but then never speaks out anything worth hearing out. Perhaps I just take vocals too literally, but if words are going to be sung, there should be some reason for them to exist — a message or story of some sort. Bland self-aggrandisement only takes you so far. Blame will no doubt follow up his previous Radio 1 and chart success with one or more of these tracks, but this is largely due to mainstream success and adventurous music making not usually being found in the same muscial postcode.
This is for: undiscerning clubbers and coffee-tables.
This is not for: lovers of the dark jungle sound or progressive takes on the genre.