16 September 2013

Rudimental - Home

I love the weird and wonderful genres that the music industry dreams up.  Well, I don't actually.  It's really annoying.  Not because I think they're wrong, or inaccurate, or that I could do better.  I just think that some of them are stupid.  The Wikipedia page for Rudimental describes them as "liquid funk".  What the funk is liquid funk?  More importantly, do I like it?


As part of our feature on the 2013 Mercury Music Prize I chose to review this album based purely on the fact that I think 'Feel the Love' is awesome.  You know the song, it was EVERYWHERE last summer, and still is.  Sounds a bit like Cee Lo Green (if that is how you spell it) on vocals.

Now, the Mercury awards in the past have served as a kiss of death to up and coming artists, and have helped others.  For example, a nomination for Bowie or the Arctic Fucking Monkeys (stay tuned, I'm reviewing them too) will probably not hurt.  Sometimes, the Mercury's have championed really shit artists too, in an effort to be "universal" or "eclectic".  Whatever.

I'm gonna shut up about the Mercury Prize for now, and treat this as a normal review...

Rudimental are apparently a quartet.  This surprises me a bit, but there it is.  It surprises me because nearly every track on this album has other contributing artists.  Surely they just need one DJ bloke, and then a guest, like Calvin Harris or something?  What does each member do?

Either way, I thought 'Feel the Love' was mega when I heard it.  Still is, although I need to be careful not to add it to every playlist I make.  But what else is good?

It turns out I've heard another one from this album, 'Waiting All Night' which features British singer-songwriter Ella Eyre and also hit Number 1 in the UK hit parade.  I like that song too.  These guys know how to make a floor filler.

However, it seems they're less successful with album filler.  Unless you like that 'chilled out' style of drum & bass, which I don't.  The title track kind of washed over me.  'Hell Could Freeze' felt weird.  It mixes that chilled out feeling with interludes of Missy Elliot style raps from Angel Haze, whoever that is.  It does have a few little electronic quirks in it, but it's boring.

'Spoons' was apparently a single too, and received a lot of airplay but didn't chart.  It's pants, to be honest.  It's got someone playing the spoons in it.  Yawn.  I've come to the conclusion that I only like commercial drum & bass, or liquid funk if you prefer.  I'm struggling to find nice things to say about this album, and it's a shame, I really wanted to love it.

Oooh! 'Powerless' has just came on.  I like that one.  Lyrically, it's pretty good (not repetitive and boring) and musically, I can appreciate why it might take 4 talented guys to produce.  It's under the 4 minute mark, which is a plus point.  Keep it short and fast, Pete stays interested.

Also, collaborate with Emeli Sandé and Pete stays interested too.  'More Than Anything' is vocally amazing.  But not to take anything away from Rudimental, it's musically awesome too.  'Free', which also features Ms Sandé is another one of those chilled tracks, but this one works!  I love it, with it's piano and lovely vocals.

I like 'Not Giving In', it switches really well between slow, chilled vocals, low bass and nice fast dancey bits with a cool horn section.  It's got that dude who is not Cee Lo Green (he's called John Newman) on it as well.

I guess this album could be cut from the 16-track deluxe version to about 8 or 9 good tracks.  Which isn't bad.  I reckon this album will please both Drum & Bass aficionados and casual bandwagon jumpers like me.  And this is probably the effect that was hoped for.

6/10: Now I see where you were going, but not quite there.

Here's 'Feel the Love'.  Feel it!  Love it!


Rudimental Home Page ('Home' page, geddit?)

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