Posts Tagged ‘Tongue N Cheek’

Dizzee at the Proms.

October 22, 2009

Dizz

Well, what else is there to say? Dizzee rascal’s performance on the BBC’s Electric Proms was very, very good. Dylan used this opportunity to really showcase why he’s at the top of his game; fully embracing new musical ideas and the spirit of the show.

From the Country-fied version of ‘Bonkers’ to the touching, string-laden rendition of ‘Jezebel’, Dizzee really outdid himself. He was cool and collected onstage and his break-neck opener ‘Jus’ a Rascal’ was recited word-perfect which in a live context, is no easy task. Taking cue from Robbie Williams earlier this week, he was every bit the front man; strutting across the stage with authority and prowess.

A highlight was seeing Aswad join the Rascal onstage to perform Tongue N Cheek highlight, ‘Can’t Tek No More’ (on which they are sampled.) It was a joyous moment that reinforced socially conscious parallels between Britain’s black music traditions of old, and the nihilistic, more American-influenced styles popular now.

Somewhat sadly though, with this excellent performance Dizzee showed the Grime scene how far behind him it is. MC’s really should take note and realise that to make it in music, the world is bigger than the estate and that as music artists, they should embrace a spectrum of human emotions, experiences and musical styles. At the moment it seems Genre constraints together with Chipmunk’s and Tinchy’s success is inspiring a wave of ‘follow fashion’ types to ‘go pop’ with buzzy electro numbers, or soppy love odes.

Dizzee has done Dizzee and his success is down to his open-minded attitude to music. This Electric Proms appearance was not only enjoyable, but very positive – a theme clearly lacking in ‘Mash’ obsessed Grime at the moment. It made me proud to be a Grime fan, oh what a feeling!

Watch the performance here.

Kristian

Dizzee Rascal – Tongue ‘N’ Cheek Review

September 22, 2009

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.

Kristian

Dizzee Rascal – Tongue In Cheek Preview

September 17, 2009

Dizzee Rascal is back, and by the look of this CD cover, he’s coming cheekier and more outlandish than ever.

Tongue N Cheek is the fourth studio album from Dizzee aka Dylan Mills, and is set to be released on Monday. Featuring 10 tracks, including number one singles Bonkers and Holiday, this album promises to be the Bow rappers’ most esoteric work to date. Having already received 4 stars in the Telegraph and Observer respectively, it looks like Tongue N Cheek will have no trouble garnering attention from the media, cementing him as one Britain’s most influential artists.

Having heard live snippets of album cut ‘Road Rage’ on radio sets this year, I’m eager to hear what Dizzee has to offer. Despite his cheesier, but ultimately successful, dance explorations this year, I’m confident that he won’t have lost that inimitable cheek and stand-offish flippancy that first caught my ear way back in 2002. However, with a plethora of dance producers contributing to this CD, my worry is that it’ll lack the punch and urgency of his previous releases.

Stay tuned for a full review next week.

Kristian