Repeated piano chords, dialled-in beats, Boyzone choruses and melodrama

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Devlin - 'A Moving Picture'

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Devlin – ‘A Moving Picture’

Every job has its hazards, but I’d wager stapling your hands together by accident doesn’t come close to having to listen to Devlin and Ed Sheeran’s cover of ‘All Along The Watchtower’ – a low point on Devlin’s second album. Ensconced in the current UK hip-hop trend of being both depressing and cheesy, 23-year-old James Devlin raps about weapons, swine flu and diabetes (‘The Garden’) as his “arteries run to the chambers of hell” (‘Gift & A Curse’). All this is set to repeated piano chords, dialled-in beats, Boyzone choruses and melodrama. His flow isn’t bad and Katy B is a welcome presence on ‘Sun Goes Down’, but let’s be honest: Dagenham is hardly Compton.
Lucy Jones