Rudimental’s brand new debut is out and I have to say, this has been one I have been waiting for. I’ve been waiting for several reasons, the most important of which, is their fairly meteoric rise to fame accented by the only slight amount of hype surrounding the release. Unlike some other dance/groove artistes releasing albums this month, Rudimental are leaving the reviews to the experts and the ‘hype’ driving to Daft Punk. Probably like yourselves, I have been privy to the all-over brilliance of ‘Not Giving in’, ‘Feel the Love’ and the recently dropped ‘Hell Freezes Over’ through channels of commercial radio, public broadcasting and the general diversity of the interweb. What this did was give us merely a taste of the majesty and pure joy-inducing feelings this album can imbue on the listener. And boy is this album sexy…
You might think I have given this an automatic green light from the last description of this as “majestic” but honestly, being the critical and openly hostile reviewer I am, I can still find little fault in this debut release. It ranges so smoothly between the mainstays in the album such as Emilie Sande and Drum and Bass through to the more unusual and possibly unknown artists MNEK and Elle Eyre and almost dubstep (shock horror) tweaks and nuances. I am particularly impressed in the roster of singers accompanying this release. Almost all are relatively unknown except for Emelie Sande and let’s be honest, despite HER hype, she has the best voice I’ve heard in a while, given half a chance to sing; and she really does herself proud here. We even get the subtle influence of modern RnB in here without the pretension and the over consumption of Alize and Hennessey. There’s even some UK Garage influences for those who know what it actually sounds like.
Stylistically, the album is pure dance at its best. Some will criticise because the album plays by the rules and presents without assumption of fame or self-aggrandisement, but in the best possible way, that’s what makes this album great. Like a paint by numbers done by Picasso, the energy and fluidity of the track positioning, composition and feel could easily be described as ‘by-the-book’ but none of that matters. It has rap elements, rhythm and blues, drum and bass and everything you remember about nineties dance music with none of the ‘current’ bluster or homogeny. It smoothly flows from song to song like an album you know like the back of your hand but have never heard. This is a talent that shows maturity as artists that many won’t get, but I hope you do. For those of you lucky enough to catch them recently in Australia for festival season, I envy you. But I don’t think our wait for more will be too long.
I could talk about this release all week and knowing my love for the newly popularised group, you’ll see more songs posted as they pop out of the albums texture over the coming weeks. I will say that amongst all the hype surrounding other releases coming, I will have this on high rotation long after those albums drop; and we can breathe a collective sigh of relief. Someone, somewhere, somehow, Dance music is alive and well and it (as usual) comes out of the shadow of greater artistes who rely on promotion, secrecy and subterfuge to peddle their electronic wares.