Tinie’s debut album, Disc-Overy,was always going to be a hard act to follow. It spawned seven singles, all of which made you scream “TUNE!” when on a night out. Throughout that album his flow was tight, punctuated with the kind of self-deprecating wit his American counterparts could only dream of. He truly was a discovery, carrying the flame of British grime cultivated by Dizzee Rascal into new territory.
We had been warned that this album would be different, and that singles would not fall out from it as you opened the cover. In their place, we have a few great songs, and then a lot of not- so-great ones. The problem is that by spending so much time ‘demonstrating’ that he is a proper rapper, living the lifestyle, Tinie manages to lose his fresh-faced charm along the way. As if to sum it all up, in ‘Witch Doctor’, the All-Saints dresses the girls were rocking in ‘Frisky’ off Disc-Overy have transformed into Givenchy ones. This bragging can carry a few tracks, found in the first half of the album, but not the whole record.
There are some strong tracks, with ‘Someday’ and ‘A Heart Can Save the World’ being the picks of the bunch. But the real stars on those tracks are the production team and Tinie’s female collaborators. The good lines appear too infrequently and are hidden in the overgrowth of otherwise unadventurous verses. The weakness of most of the lyrics exposes Tinie’s monotone delivery that falls short of his contemporaries and suggests that even he is growing weary of the high life. I am certainly tiring of listening to it.
The best verse off the album? The second one laid down by a certain Dizzee Rascal. Says it all, really.