Saturday, 10 January 2009

'Safe' - Dan Bull (album review)

There aren't many albums that lives up to the gushing hyperbole of its press release. Dan Bull’s press release describes him as having “underground credibility and mainstream appeal”. “Impossible” I hear you say. “Nay” I reply.

Really, this guy should be picked up by radios, whether he will or not remains to be seen but we, the underground, should certainly be supporting him meanwhile. He’s also someone we shouldn’t cruelly brush off as soon he does gain some exposure outside of our little UK Hip Hop bubble. Anyway, rant over – let’s get onto the album and the music:

Melodic and extremely musical (Dan plays the guitar) with singing as well as properly skilfully constructed rhymes this isn’t the average UK Hip Hop album. In fact I’ve never heard anything that could measure up to this. The (idiotic) mass media critics will inevitably make comparisons to the likes of Just Jack but, if you do hate, don’t let that put you off!

Apparently the concept of the album is that “'Safe' tells the story of a young man who attempts suicide during a global thermonuclear holocaust and awakens in a new, ambiguous nirvana” – so that’s a bit different to the usual rap topics. Summer sunshine, friendship, love and loss, alienation, politics, death, religion, suicide and insanity all figure here – surely everyone can relate to at least one thing of that list.

The music and atmosphere of the album transforms with the subjects covered – some is really upbeat ‘Summer’, ‘My Catharsis’ and ‘Cut’ (tracks 2,3 and 4), some is reflective and moody, some verge on anger. Whatever the mood, it is a beautiful album.

The sing-songy style, depending on your mood, may cloy a little but at just over 40 minutes long it might not be a problem for you – it’ll be 40 well spent minutes. And it’s a free 40 minutes too – Dan has made the low quality version of the album available for free download and with music of this quality, that could be a pioneering move – I definitely want to buy myself the CD version after hearing it.

1 comment:

zrBIVDonne1MPgjxiLd6crCyjevsSQjx said...

After listening to Dan Bull's Safe for over two months, I too decided to order a few CDs.
I like the order of things happening...

(He managed to reach me here in Germany!)