Monday, 28 September 2009

Album Review: Dizzee Rascal - 'Tongue N' Cheek'

East London’s born and bred, Bow E3 bachelor, Dylan ‘Dizzee Rascal’ Mills, returns with his fourth solo album ‘Tongue N' Cheek’. ‘Boy in da corner’ no more, Dizzee, over his four album tirade, has transgressed from an aggressively grimey adolescent MC to chart topping electro- pop superstar. Washing his hands clean of Grime with this effort, as with the lacklustre 'Maths and English', Dizzee has reflectively produced an album embracing elements of heightened popular culture, possibly unheard of by his early Grime-head, Roll Deep affiliated fans.

Boasting three U.K number one singles: ‘Dance With Me’, ‘Bonkers’ and ‘Holiday’, Mr Rascal, as labelled by news man Jeremy Paxman, has evidently taken enormous steps away from the pastures of Grime, but this time with great effect and success. This is also made clearer in the array of dance music producers, including the likes of Calvin Harris, Armand Van Helden and Tiesco, consistently infusing techno and disco dance elements at the same time.

'Road Rage' is a distinctive head banger! The raw qualities of the harsh, gargantuan thuds and baseline sounds, beneath an aggressively rugged and simplified vocal, will be music to some early Rascal fans' ears, as he speaks on his thoughts and actions over his caution for road rage in December 2008.

'Dirtee Cash' sounds like a guaranteed follow up to Rascals latest number one hits, re-living an element of early 90’s club land dance reminiscences, further enforced by a sample of Stevie V’s 'Money Talks’.

The album title alone connotes Mr Rascal; ‘Tongue’ being his ways of word play and verbal communication, and ‘Cheek’ describing his mischievous, defiant un-apologetic character. Dizzee sounds extremely assured and confident in this effort as he swaggers about tracks detailing a new found chart topping lifestyle of scantily clad lady friends, ample leisure time and seemingly large sums of money to blow: “Dizzee Dizz I keep da money coming in/ £850 jeans covering ma skin/Coz ma legs are skinny but ma pockets ain’t thin/ Every time I buss a smile it’s a big money grin!”

Though the insanely nippy speech and raw articulation fashioned to his early fans has more or less evaporated, you could say that this is Dizzee Rascal's best commercial effort of an album and is too accomplished to not warrant a listen to. The outdoor party potential is immense, and any true followers of this year’s number one summer festival gatecrasher will be resolutely pleased with ‘Tongue N' Cheek’.

Review by Aaron Dunkley


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