Abel Tesfaye's dark, twisted album is at odds with the glossy pop world he's been thrust into
Ultimately too weighed down by drab socio-political observations and retro accessories to qualify as a cool, state-of-the-art album...
As evidenced by the appearance of American soul great Terry Callier on a couple of tracks, Urban Species' reverence for the funk stretches to a time before Massive Attack and Portishead, to a time when it was free to be pretty and serene. This may lead to a few too many wangy guitar solos, but also to the vivid mix of affection and trim grooves captured on 'Women', and rich dub foray of 'Predictably Unpredictable'; to a Soul II Soul-like scope - embracing sound-system heaviness, buoyant tunes and Imogen Heap's empathic vocals - which those who've strived to follow the aforementioned Bristolians have neglected.
Ultimately too weighed down by drab socio-political observations and retro accessories to qualify as a cool, state-of-the-art album, 'Blanket' is nevertheless a moderately snug experience to wrap yourself in.
The Cavan teenagers attack album two with abandon, largely at the expense of quality
A still-vital John Lydon rages towards retirement on a saucy, scuzzy new album
10 Tracks You Need To Hear This Week (26/8/2015)
Oxford's finest flit between gnarly rock and frustrating slickness on an often-brilliant fourth album