This debut is strong with a personal style and flavour, unique to Stormzy. He is such a strong personality that’s shines through everywhere, except where he tries to bend to what he thinks the audience wants.
The production is grimy in a lot of places with some softer touches when the content also softens. The different combinations of beats show that Stormzy can be versatile, but the execution and the way they flow together detracts from the cohesiveness of the project overall. Maybe trying to prove you can do it all is not always the best course to take.
The lyricism is good, with Stormzy utilising a somewhat common rap style, but lifting it to new heights with his delivery and performance factor. His rhymes are tight and use some good skills to tell stories of redemption and religion, which are common themes. Maybe some more of the aggression shown in the hit singles would have made the project people were expecting, but this release actually shows more sides to Stormzy than people were originally interested in.
The features are good and help to show how Stormzy has sparked interest in the rap community. With some big names on here giving some great performances, it is a great oppertunity for Stormzy to see how he stacks up with others. The inclusion of the singing is a nice touch, but doesn’t help with the tough guy image he had built for himself.
Overall, this is a solid debut album from a leader in the new wave of grime artists, but only time will tell if he can stay that way. Stormzy may want to look at balancing his projects out a little more if he wants a more cohesive product.