Release Date: Aug 6, 2013
Record label: Big Beat / WEA
Review Summary: Soulful Drum ‘n’ Bass that is as captivating as it is flawed… David Guetta, this is not!Nowadays, it is so commonplace for musicians to seemingly appear out of nowhere and reach the top of the charts, that the feat itself feels meaningless. The more relevant question would be whether such acts are a flash in the pan, or long-term prospects. With the recent proliferation of featured artists, one tell-tale of those in the former category uses what could be termed “piggybacking”.
You already know ‘Feel The Love’, Rudimental’s massive signature tune, but delving into their debut record shows there’s more to this London quartet than drum’n’bass. It’s like rifling through the biggest moments in contemporary pop, from the SBTRKT/xx influence on ‘Spoons’ to Angel Haze’s ice-cool rhymes on ‘Hell Could Freeze’. This being a snapshot of contemporary radio concerns, Emeli Sandé appears not once but twice, but don’t expect to hear these tracks on Radio 2.
We're in the middle of a golden year for British pop music, one that has found young artists digesting the future-forward sounds of their formative years and distilling them into ruthless, radio-ready pop forms. Some of these debut efforts, like Disclosure's masterful Settle and AlunaGeorge's R&B-leaning Body Music, have already hit North American shores; others, like singles from smoky, soulful crooner John Newman and garage producer Naughty Boy, have yet to make a transatlantic connection. The latest salvo from across the pond comes courtesy of London quartet Rudimental, whose debut record Home earned a #1 British debut in April on the heels of two chart-topping hits, "Feel the Love" and "Waiting All Night".
The debut album from British electronic foursome Rudimental makes you want to sweat it out in the clubs, or maybe on a spin bike. Certainly there are similarities to other UK electro acts (Disclosure in particular), but also nuances that make it unique: exploratory moments in which Rudimental are like foley artists using indecipherable percussion, jazzy brass flourishes, or somehow seamlessly making one song (Not Giving In) sound like four. Mostly, we get soulful singing undercut with thundering drum and bass.
While this four-man drum ‘n’ bass band from the UK is relatively new in the music industry, it didn’t take them long to become noticed. 2012’s single “Feel the Love” with singer John Newman become a booming success during the summer, paving a way for the debut album. Although Home took nearly a year to be released, the people who fell in love with the number one single last summer didn’t forget about Rudimental.
Rudimental’s massive Number 1 single Feel The Love was one of last year’s more refreshing chart hits, and the East London four-piece’s success is as encouraging as it is unexpected. From their primitive beginnings with influential independent label Black Butter, the Hackney based group have cultivated a following based on organic development and appreciation of the importance of community and knowing where they came from. Despite developing a rich sound that encompasses all facets of urban music, Rudimental’s long anticipated debut album Home only shows flashes of reaching the same heights as their quite brilliant debut hit.
Rudimental are four young men from London whose single Feel the Love was the closest thing Olympic London had to an official soundtrack last summer. Drum'n'bass tracks don't tend to conjure descriptions such as "feel-good", but the soul vocals of 22-year-old Yorkshire lad John Newman helped send the hit into anthemic stratospheres. The rest of this debut doesn't quite take off in the same way: there are impressive contributions, including one from the reliably fearsome Angel Haze, but the band's roving sensibilities – garage, house, R&B – don't always come together.
Rudimental are currently No 1 in the singles charts with Waiting All Night, a fusion of soul stylings and drum'n'bass, the chorus of which goes off in a way that seems likely to cause no end of falling over on a Friday night. It's the same combination that made Feel the Love a massive hit for this east London four-piece last year, and both tracks are present here. Largely, though, Home seems keen to show off the group's range.