After the NME controversy and a year off, slowthai returns with a more mature outlook and weary observations.
slowthai’s first album Nothing Great About Britain was a mix between grime and hip hop. This time, however, he has doubled down on this in his new album Tyron by splitting them entirely. The first half of the album lists the song titles in caps to indicate he is shouting at us to grime while the latter half is an emotional analysis looking inward at his emotions and feelings, addressing issues affecting him and the world at the moment.
Tyron starts off angry and heavy with ‘45 SMOKE followed by “CANCELLED” featuring Skepta which is slowthai’s way of addressing his disastrous performance at the NME awards which saw him behaving badly towards both the host Katherine Ryan and members of the audience.
The second half of the album is a lot more inward looking with songs like ‘feel away’, ‘adhd’ and ‘focus’, this time with all the titles in lower case. For me, this is where the album excels – he touches on emotions we haven’t seen from him before.
It really feels like he got in touch with another part of his personality to write this and successfully shows us another side to him, with the pandemic clearly influencing his lyrics. Particularly in ‘nhs’ where he talks about clapping for carers and how the state of the world is affecting him.
Compared with his last studio album, this one sounds cleaner in production in comparison to his Nothing Great About Britain album which had more of a raw, punky sound. This might have worked for his debut album but now many of his fans are looking for something different and Tyron delivers exactly that.
slowthai – Tyron available on all platforms.
Words – Tim Langton