Dizzee Rascal – Tongue ‘N’ Cheek Review

Here, as promised, is the Threefold review of Dizzee Rascal’s hotly anticipated fourth album, Tongue ‘N’ Cheek. Released yesterday to a tumult of 4 star reviews, it looks set to be Dylan’s biggest album to date; a collection of radio-friendly tunes, spanning genre, producer and style.

In a firm departure from his previous albums, Tongue ‘N’ Cheek is, like a lot of pop music these days, to be taken at face value. It’s a collection of throwaway observations and dance beats that, at times, appears so blatantly flippant that it’s like Dizzee is just taking the piss. His well-meaning, but ultimately hollow social commentary acts as mere reference points for sycophantic review columnists who lap it up like doddering managers at a ‘blue-sky thinking’ conference.

Anyone familiar with his music previous to Bonkers or Dance With Me, will recognise that Dizzee’s sharp observational skills and lyrical intensity are largely absent from this piece. Instead, Tongue N Cheek seems to be centred on celebrating Dizzee’s celebrity rogue status; a self-applied slap on the back for making it this far. Which, given the potted history of successful Black British musicians, is a fair one.

Comprised of 11 tracks, the album is short, sweet and careful not to overstay its welcome. With one of the most divisive, if not distinctive voices in rap, this is an astute way of opening Dizzee up to new fans and markets. Opening and closing with number one singles Bonkers and Holiday, its commercial intent couldn’t be clearer.

Ultimately, Grime fans will be disappointed with this album and should consider it Dizzee’s adieu to the scene. After all, this colourful and rambunctious expedition into chart territory is already paying off in single sales and column inches. A return to Grime will not only be undesirable, but impossible.


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