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Sample Session: Slowthai -TYRON

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No stops. No skips. A one-take review.


Slowthai's much anticipated sophomore album has arrived. Tyron is a two sided record, that explores the multiplicity of human emotions and complexity. Side one shows us the rambunctious and exuberant Slowthai we have come to know during his time in the limelight. The second side, takes a deeper dive into the rapper, exposing him in a more vulnerable and honest light. Where Slowthai's debut took a stance on exploring societal issues outside of him, this record is one that pulls us into understanding the artist a lot more intently.


So as usual, no stops, no skips, here is a review of Slowthai's TYRON.




1. 45 SMOKE


Lyrical content: 8

Production: 8

Delivery: 8.5


The opening track of the album is a testament to the obtrusive persona and sonic of Slowthai that listeners may be all to used too. Sinister, boisterous and bashy, it is a staunch continuation of what we know of him, that opens nicely into the first half of the album - which is meant to represent a side of his personality that is energetic, anarchic and aggressive. The dark tone of the beat is unsettling, and the leeriness is solidified in the switch of Slowthai's delivery mid-way. But the confidence in his rap and lyricism level things out.

Highlights: The switch in tone of his flow.

Overall score: 8





2. CANCELLED (feat. Skepta)


Lyrical content: 7.5

Production: 8

Delivery: 7.5


Teaming up on this one with Skepta, there is very little of Slowthai as he only appears in the track for one verse. Taking a dig on society's obsession with cancel culture, one might expect a little more from Slowthai, as his first album proved he had a knack for commenting on social issues, and he has his own tales of "being cancelled". But alas, the strength of the song and its message is found in Skepta's nonchalant drawling in the chorus, that dominates most of the track.


Highlights: The chorus.

Overall score: 7.5




3. MAZZA (feat. A$AP Rocky)


Lyrical content: 8

Production: 7

Delivery: 7.5


The production seems to take a bit of a rest on this one, despite it being on the side of the record that is bolder - the simple synths making room for A$AP whose flows are a lot more relaxed than those of Slowthai's. Lyrically packed, the track holds elements of introspection and nostalgia, but in a manner that is surface level, the pair resisting to take it incredibly deep.


Highlights: I like the way the two rappers who are vastly different manage to make it work well together on this track.

Overall score: 7.5




4. VEX


Lyrical content: 8.5

Production: 8

Delivery: 8.5


This feels more like the Slowthai we know. With a skippy electronic beat, it is the perfect chalkboard, for his urgent and spluttery flow. Slowthai sounds a lot more comfortable on this and though it is a relatively short track, it is incredibly compact in the denseness of its lyricism. The strength of the project seems to start erupting here.


Highlights: The blend of his flow and the fast paced production.

Overall score: 8.5



5. WOT


Lyrical content: 7

Production: 8

Delivery: 8


Wot feels like it was part of Vex, as if it could easily be the outro or a second verse to the track but was separated to be an interlude, or lengthen the number of songs on the project. I didn't even notice the previous song had ended for this to be a different track.


Highlights: The production.

Overall score: 8



6. DEAD


Lyrical content: 8.5

Production: 9

Delivery: 8


Slowthai seems to turn towards a dark hip-hop production for this one - that feels reminiscent of something Mob Deep might hop onto, was it slowed down. There is also a softer and slower delivery from the rapper, as he attempts to take on the role of storytelling in this track. Kwes Darko's slow drawl throughout the song, adds another layer that makes the track more eerie, in an enjoyable way.


Highlights: The chorus and production, as well as Slowthai's flow, basically all of it.

Overall score: 8



7. PLAY WITH FIRE


Lyrical content: 8.5

Production: 8

Delivery: 8


On the final track of the a-side part of the project, Slowthai sets the tone of whats to come, with an earnest delivery and sombre production. Despite the aggression of the content within his lyrics, the solemn tone of the track seems to soften the blow. However, much like in Mazza where Slowthai falls on the verge of opening up, during the closing spoken word, he seems to, frustratingly, stop himself from doing so, leaving us yearning for more.


Highlights: The first verse.

Overall score: 8


2.


1. i tried


Lyrical content: 8

Production: 7

Delivery: 8


The shift into the ruminative and solemn side of Slowthai's personality is clear here. With the high pitched and slow drawl of "i tried to end my life", Slowthai heads into a deep and retrospective exploration of his wellbeing and mind frame.


Highlights: The first verse.

Overall score: 8.5




2. focus


Lyrical content: 7

Production: 7

Delivery: 7


There's a heaviness to the production choices of Slowthai, even when the songs have a softer tone. But really it works. As the songs of the b-side go, there seems more strength in his delivery and lyricism, taking us places we aren't usually taken by the artist, particularly in the short space of time of each song.


Highlights: The lyrics.

Overall score: 7



3. terms (feat. Dominic Fike & Denzel Curry)


Lyrical content: 8

Production: 8

Delivery: 8


I reckon if one heard this song play not knowing who it was by, they wouldn't expect to hear Slowthai hop onto it. Yet, he seems to work exceptionally well with the hip-hop/R&B type production. Calling in the likes of Dominic Fike and Denzel Curry for the hook, the stark contrast between this skippy flow and the solemn production melanges perfectly to create an ambiance of balance.


Highlights: The production and chorus.

Overall score: 8.5



4. push (feat. Deb Never)


Lyrical content: 8

Production: 8

Delivery: 8


Again, a very different sonic to what we are used too from Slowthai. Opening on a folkesque simple guitar strum, the dreamy vocals of Deb Never fill our buds, as she sings of alienation and finding ones feet. Slowthai's presence continues on the simple strum, although one might expect some 808's to appear (which they do much later), but the simple production are enough for the strength of his delivery.


Highlights: The contrast between Deb Never's tender voice and Slowthai's.

Overall score: 8




5. nhs


Lyrical content: 9

Production: 8

Delivery: 8.5


On his tribute to nhs, the depth that was lacking earlier in the project appears in full fledge in this track. A reminder to appreciate what one has, Slowthai's attempt to pull at heart strings are a success on this one.


Highlights: The content and production.

Overall score: 8.5



6. feel away (feat. James Blake & Mount Kimbie)


Lyrical content: 9

Production: 9

Delivery: 8.5


On the penultimate track of the project, Slowthai brings in James Blake and Mount Kimbie, to produce a poignant and touching track. A tribute to his baby brother who passed, the song is one of love and tenderness. It is also a magical sight in which Slowthai seems to not be the center of attention, in his delivery and presence on the song.


Highlights: James Blakes vocals and Slowthai's tenderness.

Overall score: 9




7. adhd (feat. James Blake & Mount Kimbie)


Lyrical content: 9

Production: 9

Delivery: 8.5


The final track of the project is probably Slowthai at his most open and vulnerable. Touching on an array of personal issues, such as his mental wellbeing and drug use among other things, Slowthai utilises a vast use of his vocal tone to illustrate the picture he is trying to paint - whether that is through mellow slow delivery or shouting into the mic. It is a strong contender to close of the album.



Highlights: Lyrical content.

Overall score: 9




Overall, the project differs intensely from his debut. At some points in the album, his features seemed to have overtaken him in the presence of his own songs, which isn't always a negative. However, at times the a-side of the project feels like a mesh of interludes, that are a little lazy. Where Slowthai has taken a backseat from what we know of him has proven well, with the second half of the album maintaining a strength throughout, and possibly outperforming the a-side. To see the artist who has made a name for him self as an enfant terrible, he has proved with this album, that there is beauty and validity in the softer sides of himself - and that he has a magnificent ability to showcase that in his music.


Overall rating - 8.5

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