Wednesday, 1 October 2008

'The Union Jack Album' - Jack Flash (album review)

It’s almost criminal how long I’ve left this review but hopefully I’ll make amends now. ‘The Union Jack Album’ has been available for a few months now and the recent success of Jack Flash at the End Of The Weak UK Finals should shift a few more units; Jack deserves it.

Listening to this album you wouldn’t believe Flash was such an accomplished battler, the majority is relaxed and peaceful. Only ‘Stay Put’, ‘The Program’ and ‘Four Minute Warning’ really betray his battling background, even then the production lulls you into a false sense of security enabling Jack to spit put-downs without interrupting the album’s feeling.

‘The Union Jack Album’ is ideal for an evening in with a couple of beers, so long as you’ve got a loud HiFi system; the beats are chilled due to the soul based samples but the drums and bass are heavy - a nice combination.

Where Jack’s battle pedigree is clear is in his lyrics, regardless of subject matter. His written and rapped output is engaging and so fluid. His gift is using many writing devices in a nonchalant and natural way, it’s like his normal speech just happens to contain amazing rhymes.

A nice selection of collaborations appear here too: Thabo provides sung hooks on ‘Refuge’ and ‘Intoxicating’, Micall Parknsun shows up on ‘The Program’ and fellow Ground Wurqian J Simple is on ‘What I Invent’ (as is Wize (R.I.P.)) and the rowdy ‘Ground Wurq Anthem’. Jehst and Asaviour provide verses for Huddersfield anthem ‘Sleepy Little Town’ alongside Apa-Tight who features all over the album on beat making and mic mashing duties.

This is an excellent album; a fine example of UK Hip Hop, its West Yorkshire viewpoint making it better off than its London-centric counterparts. It’s out now on Klinik Records and can be found in all the big stores online and on street.

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