Review of New Album The Fifth by Dizzee Rascal
So Dizzee Rascal returns with his new album The Fifth tomorrow but what can be expected?
Well, for starters it is very different from his previous recordings. When reviewing this I have to remember, music has moved on, Dizzee has moved on and I should look at this in an unbiased way. Why do I say that? Because, if I didn’t I would be really cynical about this one. For me, Dizzee Rascal delivers fast flowing lyrics and is at his best against some grimey London sounds. Whilst The Fifth has some of that, it isn’t a full album.
So remember, Dizzee Rascal has moved on. There are some grime elements, but there is also a lot of EDM. Now EDM could be considered to be the anti-Christ of real music, however it does have its place.
So The Fifth is the first album Dizzee Rascal delivers as part of his lucrative new deal with Universal. You can tell the difference. The production is much more “finished” or at a technically higher standard, even if it might not be better. The whose who of collaborations were also assembled at great expense.
On first listen, the album starts off with Superman, a bit of an average opening. However after a few listens, the track grows on you and the sample which lends its name to the track resonates with you and gets you singing along. We won’t dwell on the opener as track two is big.
I Don’t Need A Reason is the second track. This hints back to some of the dirtier stuff by Dizzee. Rough music, heavy heavy beats and a backdrop that will burst your ear drums. The rap delivered by Dizzee is trademark. The verses are driven home with real pace and Dizzee of course leaves us with a hook in the chorus that gets you repeating it over and over and over gain.
Of the other tracks with collaborations, two thirds of them to be precise, as many are enhanced by the tie-ups as those that are hindered. On the positive side Good the track featuring Angel is quality. Its one of those laidback numbers that Dizzee does so well. Weirdly Dizzee still shines through with grimey flow but it still feels relaxed and laidback. Angel adds some great vocals as well.
Spend Some Money ft Tinie Tempah on first listen is a little disappointing. Not that it is a bad track, its just that with the two heavyweights of UK Hip Hop we could have expected more. However, I relate you back to the beginning of this review. They have moved on and EDM is much more current. With that lense, the track actually delivers. Both Tinie and Dizzee deliver on their lyrics and the production is first class.
Goin’ Crazy featuring Robbie Williams is OK and after a lot of listens grows on you. However the tracks featuring Jessie J, Sean Kingston and Will.i.am are particularly poor. They genuinely play to the level of the collaborators, rather than the strengths of Dizzee Rascal.
So although I finish on a somewhat lower note, it must be said, overall the album is a good one. Dizzee throughout shines through. HIs London twang and quick delivery prove he hasn’t lost any of his talent during his hiatus. Dizzee is truly a leader in the UK urban scene. And before we go, don’t forget Bassline Junkie is the bonus track, which for me is one of the greatest tracks this year.
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