Wale – SHINE Review

This is a solid release from Wale and shows a bit more growth from the artist. The softer tones and choice of instrument help give this a more connecting tone than the party anthems that pop music has become.

The production is magnificent and sets the tone for the whole album. Each beat is not overbearing, so you can hear the artists on the tracks, while being melodic and uplifting in the background. Maybe something a little brasher could help give a more complete release, but the selection works well in this case.

The lyricism is strong and the easy delivery makes it easy to listen to. Wale has a masterpiece way of rapping, every word flowing easily together and the wordplay being descriptive and relevant. Something a bit more aggressive may show more sides to Wale, but there are definitely no issues with his performance here.

The features help to add another level of cohesion to this project, while showcasing others abilities. Each guest does a good job of showing how good their writing is and it is a good blend of stars as well as up and comers. The balance of singers to rappers is also pretty good which helps lead to a diverse listen through.

Overall, this is an enjoyable fifty six minutes that shows Wale is keeping his skills sharp. Mayback Music Group is having a strong year so far.

Tinie Tempah – Youth Review

This release takes Tinie Tempah back to sounding like his hugely successful debut album. The sound on this may lean towards more pop sounds, but the content helps to keep one foot in his roots.

The production is great with a lot of smooth sounds making this feel very cohesive as a full listen through. There are a lot of beats that seem simple, but are very effective as they don’t overshadow the artists at any point and help them have a little more impact. Something a bit grittier could have helped bring in more of his underground followers, but that might be a little lost for a big gain.

The lyricism is great, with Tempah showing the skills that brought him to the forefront of UK rap in the first place. He has a lot of great rhymes that punctuate his descriptive terms well and that push his story telling to the next level. However he does have moments of simply repeating the same phrase which can let a song down in places.

The features all do a great job of showing the connections Tempah has in the music world. Each contributes with a solid verse or chorus that works beautifully with the project overall, The guest selection here is so diverse that there is nothing that could be done to improve it really.

Overall, this is a release to remind the world that Tinie Tempah can still make big hits. He does that while showing he also has a softer side and staying entertaining, which is no easy feat.