Following last night’s spectacular Mercury Prize ceremony, we obviously have to give our upmost congratulations to Sampha, the well deserved winner of this year’s prize, whose debut album is a clear reason as to why new releases and debut albums are so pivotal to the music industry. For those wanting to see what all the fuss is about, check out the review for Sampha’s Process from our very own Jamie Hancock in our album review section. Aside from the Mercury Prize, there’s a sensational list of new releases today, headed up by the incredible Foo Fighters, who release their seventh studio album Concrete & Gold, a record which combines the rock band’s signature sounds into one completely brilliant album. The Killers continue their teasing trickle of releases as well with Some Kind Of Love.
Gang Signs and Prayer is full of the unexpected. Yes, it’s often classic Stormzy, hitting with hard bars, easy put downs and aggressive beats. But it also features him singing, backed by sparse soul-styled organ melodies (and, at one point, MNEK), exposing something far more fragile. The grandstanding, swaggering verses Stormzy has made his name with are balanced by songs with lyrics full of introspection and personal experience. Sometimes, the tone is more akin to the work produced by another South London MC with a recently released album – Loyle Carner. Gang Signs and Prayer can often be jarring, jumping straight from the quiet Blinded by Your Grace Part 1 into the heavy bombast of recent single Big for Your Boots, for example. Stormzy seems to want you to go along with this. He asks you to trust his vision. And, by and large, I think you should.