Dels aka Kieren Dickens releases his debut album “GOB” next month so we gave it to Daniel Savage to have a listen and come up with what is popularly known in the music business as “review”. Sav doesn’t really know how to write one. This is his attempt….
So, yea. A review.
I’d never heard of Dels until I was sent GOB. I didn’t know what I was going to get and, if i’m honest, after the first play of the album I didn’t get much. However, it would be a bit amateurish to give one listen, judge and write a half assed review. Instead I listened a number of times and wrote a fully assed review. I love fully ass reviews.
It’s not your usual rap, there’s no gangster beats, no mainstream dub or drum and base a la Tinie or Sir Dizzee. It’s quite minimal with electro sounds filling in the gaps (which isn’t surprising considering one the three album producers is Joe Goddard of Hot Chip fame). It has a very british sound, there’s no obvious American influences, and some of the production makes for surefire winning tracks.
Let me be clear though, not every song is going to blow you away but I’m not sure that was its intention. Dels hasn’t created a dance album like a lot of his British contemporaries. But what I can say it is an accomplished and decent piece of work. There are some definite dance tracks, such as Capsize which features Joe Goddard and Roots Manuva. Unfortunately the two of these artists overshadow Dels contribution. Other upbeat tracks like Shapeshift and Trumpalump also get your head bobbing and you can imagine them being played in indie electro clubs like Clique in the Northern Quarter.
Like I said, it’s not all about the dancing. There are some deliberately slower and downbeat tracks that lets Dels show us his lyrical abilities. He’s a great story teller, the best example being DLR (feat. Elan Tamara). Here, the music takes a backseat and Dels tells us about a homeless woman, with a chorus that suits the song perfectly. The next track Droogs takes us even stronger subject matter with rape and murder being talked about in a refreshingly new approach.
To finish, the album is a grower. It’s one to keep playing now and again and finding something new that you enjoy about it. To describe this album in a sentence I would say that it’s a decent attempt at Dizzee Rascal’s Boy In Da Corner, but lacking in certain aspects. Don’t let that put you of though, GOB is a good debut, and I can only see him building on this.
Released: 2nd May
Standout tracks: Trumpalump, Shapeshift, Capsize, DLR.
Weakest track: Violina/Bread before bed.
Lyric Choice: “I’m a bird, I’m a tree, I’m a bike, I’m a plane, I’m the ground underneath your feet, I’m the rain in the sky, I’m a cloud, I’m the sun, I’m a star, shoot hoops through Saturn’s rings, world’s in my palm, I’m a bear, I’m a dog, I’m a chair so get off, I’m an action figure, but I’m not trapped in a box, I’m free, free with the world at my feet, humming A-Team theme as I’m running down the street.” – Shapeshift