Affectionately dubbed ‘the prince of grime,’ Ghanaian-born Grime artist Tinchy Stryder has recently been catapulted into the mainstream music world. Fast becoming a favourite with commercial pop fans after signing with Island Records, perhaps some of the grit and hunger has been compromised in favour of a more radio-friendly sound.
Catch 22 is not a bad album, just maybe a little too focused on the fairer sex and his rapid ascent to fame. Having already spawned a number of chart and club favourites, the release marks the acceptance of Grime as a viable artform in the UK music scene. Tinchy’s signature blend of infectious hooks and typical Grime production has helped bring the genre to the masses, although perhaps at the expensive of some artistic integrity.
The album is an enjoyable listen, which radiates positivity and fun. Whilst it is hardly an innovative concept, Tinchy’s light-hearted lyrics can’t help but make you smile. Highlights include the Ruff Sqwad assisted ‘Tryna Be Me’ (produced by Rapid and Dirty Danger) and the bonus track, Tinchy’s interpretation of ‘Express Urself’ (produced by Chase & Status). The introspective ‘Preview’ (produced by Fraser T. Smith) is also well worth a listen.
Whilst it is hardy a pioneering project, Catch 22 marks a positive step for the UK Grime movement. Tinchy’s unique hitmaking formula throughout the release, which serves as an introduction to the talented young artist. Hopefully, as he develops and matures, his sophomore project will provide some of the depth that was lacking in Catch 22, which as we are reminded is just a preview after all. Overall, a good album but perhaps a little too sugar coated for the Grime scene.
On a scale of one to five, one being awful and five being a classic, Catch 22 scores a 3.5.
Catch 22 is out Monday (17th August 2009).