Drum & Bass and Jungle rhythms, usually made up of hyper sped-up, sampled kicks and snares – are more or less dead genres in 2013. Sure, every sub-section of electronic music has it’s niche, but we haven’t really seen anyone major employing the style over the last ten years or so, suggesting that it’s best days are behind it. Then, along came Rudimental, with a little DnB driven track called “Feel The Love”, that somehow became Zane Lowe’s “Hottest Record In The World” one year ago, almost acting as the unofficial theme to London’s Olympic games, happening right around the same time.
From there, Rudimental took on a life it’s own, spawning a full-length album with Home, debuting at #1 on the UK Albums Chart, while the album’s third single “Waiting All Night” shared that honor on the UK Singles Chart. With “Feel The Love” also charting heavily in in neighboring countries such as Ireland, Australia, Belgium, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Austria, Denmark, and Germany, Rudimental had officially arrived. Yeah, we yanks are late to the party.
Nevertheless, Home is a refreshing change of pace in a genre overloaded with big builds ups and “sick drops”, as Rudimental defies convention for a wholly original LP. It would be misleading to label this a drum & bass album, as the group only dabbles in it, other times taking different directions for their sound. The bluesy “Home” opens the album up, slightly misleading as to where the LP will take you next, as the tracklist is endlessly unpredictable. Later on “Hell Can Freeze”, we find XXL Freshman covergirl Angel Haze rhyming over subdued grooves, with Biggie-esque begging for “one more chance.” “Hide”, with Sinead Harnett, continues the album’s mellow pace, with chilled breakbeats propelling the track.
Truthfully, however, the album is at it’s best when employing those lost drum & bass breakdowns. The group’s breakthrough single, “Feel The Love”, remains in tact, and is arguably the best track on the album. Not to sell the rest of the record short by any means, as Zedd collaborator Foxes shines on the up tempo “Right Here”, while the Emeli Sande driven “More Than Anything” pulls at the soul. “Not Giving In”, featuring John Newman and Alex Clare, is another triumph, acting as a perfect sequel to “Feel The Love”, meshing organic horns with the endangered junglist sound. The same can be said for the garage-house anthem, “Baby”, which shows brilliance in their levels of layered sounds, synths, and samples. “Waiting All Night” also deserves mention.
The album ends on a perfect note with “Free”, dialing things back down to an almost progressive (rock) sound, showing amazing versatility from the group. As a bonus, the album is paced so well that it will demand multiple listens from it’s audience, with new favorite songs manifesting each time. Home is a triumph, only challenge will be to see if they can crack the dulled ears of the stateside away team.
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