Chase & Status – No More Idols
I’m basically 6 months late in doing this review. I’m doing it anyways, because:
1. The US release was way late….as in it just sort of showed up in iTunes one day late. And I was too into whatever it was I was into, so it sort of fell off my plate.
2. Most of you have no clue who Chase & Status are anyways.
So here we go. This duo is a drum and bass outfit from England, who’ve enjoyed some success since their excellent debut, More Than Alot. It’s definitely an album indicative of where they’ve gone over the past few years. From rising talent to producers in high demand by the like of Rihanna, Dizzee Rascal, Alexandra Burke, etc. They even landed a major management deal with Jay-Z’s Roc Nation. Big things, indeed.
It’s more accessible, to mean it’s going to gear more toward a larger, Top 40 kind of audience. (This is something the purists and causal fans alike HAD to see coming, with the last release.) They have a sound tailor made for big radio hits, and there are lots of them on this release. There are some boring tracks, like “Blind Faith” and “Midnight Caller” – and they aren’t bad songs, but they just sort of drag after a couple listens. But the highs are pretty dope. “Let You Go” (featuring good, distinct vocals form Mali) is a strong track, with the massive build-up, and nice, heavy string-assisted breakdowns after the chorus.
There is a rock twinge throughout, both electric (“Fire In Your Eyes”) and acoustic ( the actually underrated Plan B assisted “End Credits”). “Hitz”, which featuring the young star in the making Tinie Tempah, is a straight forward Bomb Squad rap song – the bass is super heavy. It is one of the surprises of the album. I’d like to see what they could do, going in this direction with other MC’s albums, or just a whole rap album with a bunch of featured MCs. “Heavy” is really a Dizzee Rascal song – hopefully he lets them go crazy for him on his next drop. “Brixton Briefcase” with Cee Lo is a very interesting dub track….still not sure what to make of it. My favorite track outside of “Hitz” is “Hocus Pocus” – hard and heavy old school drum and bass. I think they added that on there, just to let people know they still know where they come from. “Time” is another track I was surprised I’d like, because I feel like the songs with female vocals get corny. However, the flow of the song just rolls well, and the vocals blend in seemlessly.
I can see NME’s viewpoint on the album. (1 out of 10 was their rating.) But it’s a fun record…and definitely meant to be listened to with the intent on moving around and dancing, not sitting in a cubicle or some random desk (like I’m doing now.) That being said….
Grade: B. It’s not a pure record, with all the genre bending. But it’s a very strong record all round….something for everyone. And the videos deal with very serious subject matter….hard to find these days. They seem to concerned with saying important things, without being all up in the video – which gets thumbs up from me.