Review: Rudimental – We The Generation

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80%
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Listenable

If you were a fan of Home, it's safe to say that We The Generation won't disappoint.

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We The Generation is the second album from Hackney locals Amir Amor, DJ Locksmith, Kesi Dryden and Piers Agget, or as you may know them: Rudimental. The drum and bass enthusiasts that make up this edgy east London collective have finally delivered the follow up album from 2013’s Home and their new record is sure to amaze.

Features on the album are nothing short of perfection, and include the likes of Ed Sheeran, Ella Eyre and Lianne La Havas, not forgetting our favourite London boys Dizzee Rascal and D&B royalty MNEK, a lot of whom also featured on the previous album.  There really is something for everyone. Everyone that can appreciate a dance beat that is.

The album kicks off with 2015’s answer to ‘Feel the Love’, an up-beat soul classic entitled ‘I Will for Love’ featuring 24 year old jazz singer Will Heard. The track ensures its listeners are left feeling all sorts of positivity, and retains a certain ‘go-getters’ energy that even an adrenaline junkie would be satisfied with. Amidst the somewhat typical dance beat that we’d all expect nothing less of in a Rudimental album, Heard’s voice adds a softer texture to the mix, resulting in a chorus with the perfect blend of dance and soul.

The title track, ‘We The Generation’ is representative of a certain retro funk. It captures the essence of the album and provides us with a new sound for Rudimental. Arguably, their signature sound can usually be characterised by an up tempo beat paired with a John Newman-like vocalist, however this album appears to offer that little something extra. This song in particular evokes a sense of nostalgia; a 90s cult classic reworked into the next new dance anthem. Similarly, ‘New Day’, seems to transition from blues-y guitar riffs into a jazz rendition, again creating that element of surprise that ‘Home’ seemed to lack.

Despite the usual up tempo consistency, certain aspects of We the Generation offers a break from their dynamic, presenting us with a palette more inclusive of delicate dance beats. The first in this selection, ‘Never Let You Go’, features Irish singer/songwriter Foy Vance and begins with an intro almost reminiscent of The xx, before finding its feet with the house aesthetic that Rudimental seem to manifest so well.

An obvious collaboration to mention is ‘Bloodstream’, the remixed version to Ed Sheeran’s stellar original. Rudimental’s touch on the track gives the song an added dimension, with the layering making it sound much more evolved. Unfortunately for Ed, the pairing with Rudimental seems to work more in their favour than his, making his original almost seem unfinished and inadequate.

Another big ticket track on the album belongs to ‘Too Cool’ featuring the enormous voice of music industry lioness Ella Eyre. Despite being one of the more subtle dance tracks, it possesses all that feline energy Ella encompasses, almost promoting a sense of self-righteousness and female empowerment.

As a whole, the formulation of the album is strongly representative of Rudimental’s conventional nature, and runs the risk of being almost too typical of them, had it not been for the variation of vocalists and occasional change of pace. A noticeable difference between their debut album and the second appears to be in their willingness to experiment with new sounds, drawing on reggae and jazz influences for much of the content in the album. We The Generation provides us with rawer vocals and a more cultivated sound. The collaborations enable the artists in question to remain true to their original sound, with the quartet simply providing them with a new platform to play around with it.

We The Generation is out now via Asylum.

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Head of Relations for The Edge and Fashion Marketing student at Southampton University. P.S. I tweet - a lot (@naviwbu)

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