Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Review: Labrinth - Electronic Earth


Labrinth has produced for the likes of Wretch 32, Tinchy Stryder, Professor Green and Ms Dynamite. But his greatest work as a producer (at least commercially) has been with Tinie Tempah. “Pass Out” gave Tinie his first UK number 1 and has now been certified Platinum. “Frisky” reached number 2 in the UK singles chart and has since sold more than 330,000 copies. 



It’s funny then that Labrinth’s debut solo single “Let The Sun Shine” was denied the number 1 spot by Tinie Tempah (and Bruno Mars) who occupied the two spots above him in the UK chart. “Let The Sunshine” had more of a Pop feel than any of the previous songs Labrinth had produced and was a taste of what was to come on his debut album. 

“Treatment” is the perfect example; it’s a song that you could imagine a Boy Band such as One Direction singing. On his cover of Charles Wright's "Express Yourself", Labrinth sings "I don't make the papers, I'm far from JLS/ Ain't got the X-Factor, I'm not what they expect." It’s quite surprising to hear that considering Labrinth’s boss is Simon Cowell, but as the song’s title suggests Labrinth is more concerned with his freedom of expression than just fitting in.




“Earthquake” was a return to the hits that we've come to expect from Labrinth and Tinie Tempah. A commercial banger loved on radio and in the clubs, it is Labrinth’s highest charting UK single. 

“Sundown” is quite a boring song compared to the pace of the rest of the album. That being said, had someone like Wretch 32 rapped on the verses and Labrinth sung a different hook then this would sound pretty damn good. 

Electronic Earth’s best song is the album opener “Climb On Board”. The production on the song is up there with the best you’ve heard from Labrinth and his vocals sit perfectly on the track. 

Electronic Earth’s only other featured artist is Emeli Sande, who joins Labrinth on “Beneath Your Beautiful”. The two work wonderfully together and the way the drums come in allows the perfect entrance for Emeli’s vocals. “Beneath Your Beautiful” is definitely one of the album’s highlights. Along with "Express Yourself", “Beneath Your Beautiful” provide a glimpse of what Labrinth would sound like with less of an Electro sound and it is something that I’d like to hear more of based on the quality of these two tracks.


Labrinth’s latest single “Last Time” is a return to the Electro Pop sound of his debut single. It’s not in the same league as Labrinth's previous singles, but it is clearly a song designed with the UK charts and radio in mind. 

The album’s closer “Vultures”, has a chorus that feels and sounds a lot like Coldplay's "Paradise". That being said “Vultures” is one of the Electronic Earth’s better songs with lines like “in the desert of my mind, friends like water-hard to find.”


HIGHS: 

LOWS:

Electronic Earth in Summary:
Electronic Earth is not a bad album, but it is not a great one either. There’s not much of an argument for purchasing the whole album. You will not be missing much if you only own the standout tracks and that’s the best that I can advise for this album. It would have been more entertaining to hear more songs in the vein of “Up In Flames” and “Climb On Board” as opposed to “Last Time” and “Sweet Riot”.

Rating:
Avoid | Stream | Recommend

Electronic Earth is available now on iTunes UK & Amazon US. You can also stream Electronic Earth now on Spotify.