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Rudimental “Home” – Album Review

Warner Music UK (2013)

Just six months after DJ Fresh and Rita Ora took drum ‘n’ bass to the top of the UK charts for the very first time, Rudimental’s gospel-tinged “Feel The Love” repeated the feat to confirm that its revival was now in full swing. However, the South London quartet’s decision to embrace the entire urban spectrum on their debut album, Home, suggests they’re not interested in being pigeon-holed as the genre’s saviours.

Fronted by the gloriously raspy tones of John Newman, who sounds like a veteran Memphis soul singer, but who is in fact a 20-something white guy from Yorkshire, “Not Giving In” sticks to a similar classy template as their euphoric number one single. As do the glorious brass-heavy “Waiting All Night” and the haunting “More Than Anything,” which arriving just weeks after inspired collaborations with Underworld’s Rick Smith and Wiley, prove that Emeli Sandé is far more intriguing as a guest vocalist than she is on her own dreary solo material.

But Home is just as captivating when Rudimental abandon the 180 BPM. Taking a break from squabbling with Azealia Banks on Twitter, New York’s Angel Haze showcases a softer side on the gorgeous ambient hip-hop of “Hell Could Freeze.” Emerging talent MNEK also more than holds his own against the more heavyweight guest-list on the shimmering SBTRKT-esque bass-pop of “Spoons” and “Baby.”

Meanwhile, the brooding opening title track, which recalls Amy Winehouse at her pre-Back To Black finest, and the stunning “Hide,” which harks back to the early 00s output of Erykah Badu and Jill Scott before seguing into a crisp two-step garage finale, prove Rudimental are just as comfortable tackling classy late-night soul as they are propulsive festival-ready anthems.

Goldie’s Timeless and Roni Size’s Mercury Prize-winning New Forms might be considered the benchmarks when it comes to drum ‘n’ bass long-players. But with such a joyous melting pot of sounds, Home could well be the first to be lapped up by both the mainstream and purists alike.

4 / 5 stars     

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About the Author

on MUSIC IS MY OXYGEN WEEKLY.

Jon O'Brien's love of music began as a six-year-old after becoming bizarrely transfixed with the 80s poodle rock of Heart, Europe and Def Leppard. Switching his attention to pop icon Michael Jackson, he then became addicted to the UK Top 40, becoming a rather pointless walking Wikipedia of chart positions in the process. Driving his poor neighbors up the wall while learning to play the drums as a teen, he toyed with the idea of becoming a musician, but in studying Journalism at the University of Central Lancashire, he realized heÕd rather write about music than perform it. Since then, he's written thousands of reviews and biographies on everything from bubblegum pop to death metal, but electronica remains his main passion, with everything from Aphex Twin to Zero 7 in his spare room-consuming record collection. Jon resides in northwest England near Liverpool.

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Posted in: Album Reviews, Electronic Music, Featured


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