Monday, 9 February 2009

'Audacity' - Ugly Duckling (album review)

So Ugly Duckling’s new album has been out for a couple of weeks now and I’ve not yet passed judgement despite having had it for some time. Here we go:

It kicks off with lead single ‘I Won’t Let It Die’ which I’ve already reviewed so I’ll say no more (I really liked it). ‘Audacity’ has what all the other albums had with an added element of seriousness and more meaning. Not that UD never had stuff to say, they did (for example, on ‘Pick-Up Lines’ they expressed views no rapper ever had before or since). It’s just that the overall reputation of UD was good time, fun-having Hip Hop.

So, it still is fun and funky (Einstein brings funk by the pound – no other producer does it quite like him) but there is a more spiritual approach to this LP. To me it sounds like a concept album based around a man’s inner moral (and possibly religious) conflicts. It’s fitting that this is the case: UDs listeners who picked up their 2001 album ‘Journey To Anywhere’ will have grown and matured along with the group and are probably totally ready for more complex subject matter – I know I am.

Don’t get the wrong impression though – it’s seriously witty. All of the more grown-up ideas are delivered with humour and droll lyrics. The addition of sing-songy hooks doesn’t make this any less credible – just more listenable and memorable – I’m all for them. Also, it does mean that this album is a whole lot more accessible to people, I know I’d be happy playing this to my younger brother, my dad or my Nana and the chances are, they’d appreciate some aspect of it. You couldn’t say that for most rap artists who ‘make it’, and I don’t want to be ashamed of my music of choice – this is something I’m proud to be a fan of.

Ugly Duckling – well done and thank you. A quality release – listener, buyer, consumer – buy yours now.

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