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14/04/2012 Labrinth - Electronic Earth Review
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|Labrinth - Electronic Earth Review|
|14-04-2012 09:38 | 0 comment(s)|
| British electro musician Labrinth first burst onto the scene thanks to his work with Tinie Tempah back in 2010 ("Pass Out" & "Frisky"). The success of both those singles led to him signing a record deal with Simon Cowell (Syco Records) in June of 2010 and work on his debut album began immediately in London. Promo single "Let The Sun Shine" did enough to generate a bit of buzz for him but it was his first official single "Earthquake" that generated mass hype for the project, following its debut at #2 on the UK singles chart. The song received a great amount of airplay on local stations here in South Africa too and it has been particularly well received by the younger student community in the clubs around the country.
After a year of writing and recording, Syco released Electronic Earth this past Monday, the 2nd of April. I was particularly interested to hear which direction the album would be taking especially considering the differences between "Let The Sun Shine" (more generic) and "Earthquake" (dubstep, not necessarily the most radio friendly track). Labrinth claims he wants to make both electronic and acoustic music side-by-side (his words, not mine) and I am happy to hear he is a fan of experimenting with different sounds. I got my hands on the album a couple of days after release and have given it a couple of days to sink in before writing this review.
The album kicks off with what can be considered a standout track – "Climb on Board" starts off sounding similar to Imogen Heap "Hide & Seek" but the beat drops just in time and the change of direction works really well. "Earthquake" and "Last Time (the second official single) follow-up nicely from it and this gives an immediate good first impression of the project. "Treatment" also has Top 40 potential but it does seem the weakest of the first four tracks on the album.
The album takes a turn with the retro sounding "Express Yourself", which might have been intended to be a break from the commercial start to the album, but in essence falls short and feels out of place in the project as a whole. "Let The Sun Shine" and the Emeli Sande collaboration "Beneath Your Beautiful" do bring the album back to reality but the latter is not as strong as one might have anticipated, and comes off slightly generic. "Sundown" & "Vultures" round off this generic sound but luckily "Sweet Riot" brings things back up to standard as another of the strong single contenders from the project.
As a whole Electronic Earth starts very strong but doesn't manage to avoid the mid-album fizzle so many first time artists encounter. Nevertheless a solid debut from someone who is said to be one of the most humble artists in the industry today, the project is a decent start that will generate a couple of hit singles, but as a whole there is much work to be done. As usual, Syco's A&R has done well thus far in choosing the correct singles from the project and one can only hope that "Climb on Board" and a couple of tracks from the deluxe edition ("Up In Flames" & "T.O.P") will be considered for radio release in the coming months. I'm excited to see where Labrinth takes his career and he is definitely an artist and producer to watch as we head into the middle stages of 2012.
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