Review of Demonstration by Tinie Tempah
Tinie Tempah returns with “that difficult second album” and its been somewhat of a wait to get the sophomore offer from the golden boy of UK hip hop. But is Demonstration worth the wait?
Disc-Overy was a huge album. Tinie Tempah came from nowhere and stole the crown as the King of UK Hop Hop from the man he admired, Dizzee Rascal. He also stormed past pretenders such as Tinchy Stryder, Chip (or Chipmunk whatever he is called these days) and Wretch 32.
Demonstration is definitely worth the wait and cements his place as head of the table. I did have fears before the first listen that the hints of EDM in some of the singles may take over the album. I was also worried when I heard he had collaborated with 2Chainz, somebody who epitomises what is wrong with hip hop at the moment. There were worries that Tinie’s lyrics would get lost. I shouldn’t have worried. Tinie delivers a quality album, with a great mix of pure UK Hip Hop and some elements of EDM. Yes it is commercial and yes it is made for chart hits, but don’t let this sway you. There are some quality tracks and great lyrics on here.
Tinie always seems a bit more humble than some of his contemporaries. He never seems to brag and he always seems to be such a nice bloke. However, you can’t be a rapper without a bit of an edge. Tinie has moved on from keeping clothes in his aunt’s house. This is illustrated by a lyric in Mosh Pit, the track which features a guest appearance from Dizzee “Living kind of lavish, Fashion Week in Milan, Fashion Week in Paris” yes Tinie has it made.
Whilst the delivery may be a little slower and more considered then Dizzee, it doesn’t make his delivery in any way inferior. He choses simple yet well constructed rhymes and his lyrical delivery is at times superb.
The album features a host of collaborations, aside from Dizzee Rascal. The likes of Emeli Sande, Paloma Faith and critics favourite and MOBO winner Laura Mvula all appear. And as you would expect the obligatory features from Labrinth are also evident, as is the appearance by Big Sean.
Despite those big names, perhaps the collaborator to star was the lesser known Ella Eyre. Its like her and Tinie were made for each other. Their joint appearance on album opener Someday (A Place in the Sun) is superb and Ella’s voice is really strong. The opener is definitely a highlight.
Obviously current single Children of the Sun is popular, it has received great reaction from the music buying public and John Martin’s vocal delivery combines well with Tinie’s lyrical delivery. The track is laced full of EDM yet, it still maintains its hip hop flavour. Whilst unashamedly, made to be commercial, the track also has that feel that it was created to be sung in a big arena. We are sure this will get the crowd going as Tinie Tempah tours the UK.
Looking Down the Barrel contains a great sample and a haunting voice, similar to that of the evil spirit in horror film The Skeleton Key. This track is one of the highlights for me and is perhaps the biggest surprise. It is also really encouraging that this is a solo effort from Tinie. A great track, which must please him, as a number of critics suggest Tinie only shines with the collaborations he has.
So if you don’t mind a bit of a commercial sound, then you will be happy to hear, that Tinie Tempah has successfully delivered a second album that hits the heights of his first. Demonstration displays good lyrics, good production and great collaborations, all point to a good album with commercial success guaranteed.