The sophomore album for any artist is usually a make or break second. Particularly following on from a debut album which obtained such widespread important acclaim, that is actually what has been at stake for Santan Dave. Psychodrama, the South London rapper’s first full size launch, noticed Dave take residence the Mercury Prize in addition to obtain worldwide recognition, as he opened as much as inform deeply touching and private tales from his personal life, and others by way of the idea of a type of psychotherapy. The album was bold, daring, however glorious, and noticed the child from Streatham announce his presence as one of the crucial proficient rappers on the earth, not to mention the UK.
No strain then, for We’re All Alone In This Collectively, a title given to Dave by way of a dialog with legendary musician Hans Zimmer. What Dave has managed to create on his second launch is nothing wanting spectacular, taking the listener on a sonic journey by way of his heritage with impeccable storytelling and diversified manufacturing. There actually shouldn’t have been any doubt in regards to the ranges that this 23 yr outdated might attain.
The album kicks off with “We’re All Alone”, the place Dave unleashes a barrage of sensible bars and flows over a swooning backing vocal, earlier than a signature piano beat change switches the temper of the monitor, including an essence of melancholia whereas the rapper explores concepts of mortality and anti-government sentiments. That is adopted by “Verdansk”, a monitor which has been extremely anticipated ever since a video snippet was posted final yr. Utilizing a minimalist instrumental, Santan demonstrates the higher echelons of his lyrical prowess, as he raps, ‘on the best day man’ll simply frisk him, on the fallacious day I’m getting man air lifted’, in addition to, ‘I ain’t on beating or misogyny, it’s mahogany I received boujee wooden’.
These two songs which open the document act as a press release of intent from the South Londoner, exemplifying his lyrical skill in addition to exhibiting off a collection of completely different flows. What’s spectacular about these tracks, in addition to many on the album, is how Dave is ready to mix boasy bars with social and political messages in the identical monitor, including depth and gravity to the songs that tie the album collectively as an entire. This may be seen on “Verdansk”, which might have been an distinctive tune regardless, the place he raps, ‘AirBnB with the fellows, it’s a white man’s face that I take advantage of to e-book’, thus making a thought-provoking second on what would in any other case have been a banger, and due to this fact demonstrating a consciousness and sensibility that a few of his friends in UK rap can lack.
There are additionally moments throughout the document the place Dave leads with this emotion and introspectiveness, notably in direction of the again finish of the monitor checklist. On Three Rivers”, the artist is ready to rap from three completely different views as he touches on the horrific therapy of the Windrush era, in addition to the hardships of each Jap European and Center Jap immigrants and asylum seekers. The tail finish of the document nevertheless is the place Santan actually comes into his personal, exhibiting knowledge past his years on the ten minute epic, “Coronary heart Assault”, a rework of a monitor from his earlier launch from the Six Paths EP, “Panic Assault”. The tune touches on a number of heavy subjects, corresponding to knife crime and home violence, whereas Dave additionally exhibits a gratitude to his mom for the sacrifices she made with a view to present for him in his upbringing. The tune closes with an emotionally charged, minute lengthy acapella, earlier than a heartbreaking outro of what one can solely assume to be the artist’s mom, who sobs as she explains her hardship. This tune seems like the height of Dave’s profession to date, and is a stand alone masterpiece on an album plagued by excellence.
The ultimate monitor, “Survivor’s Guilt”, sees the rapper deal with his personal anxiousness and struggles with psychological well being, as he speaks of crying on the motorway and feeling misplaced. This tune additionally options an insightful gem of a lyric, the place Dave raps, ‘it’s a disgrace it takes falling to your dying for an individual to understand absolutely the gravity of the scenario’. There are solely a handful of artists on the earth proper now who might painting these subjects and topic issues with such eloquence and conviction, and it’s staggering to assume that that is one thing now we have come to anticipate of the rapper.
Moreover, we are able to see the artist’s use of options enhancing these emotionally charged subjects in direction of the tip of the document. Snoh Alegra’s spacey, craving vocals circulate fantastically into James Blake’s tender cries on the tracks “Regulation of Attraction” and ‘Each Sides of A Smile’. as Dave tackles and opens up about struggles in his love life and relationships. He’s additionally helped out by ShaSimone on the previous monitor, who takes the position of the rapper’s girlfriend in a intelligent forwards and backwards that sees the artist rethink his actions within the relationship. This isn’t to say nevertheless that each one the options on the album play into this theme of introspective melancholy, as Santan is ready to name on some heavy hitters to carry some critical warmth throughout the tape.
Stormzy’s inclusion on “Conflict”, accompanied by the glitzy video on the Aston Martin headquarters, sees each rappers figuratively crown themselves because the main forces in UK rap, while additionally fuelling the flames of a chilly warfare between Stormzy and Chip. We will additionally see Dave connecting along with his Nigerian roots by utilising options from Wizkid and Boj, additional emphasising that this album is a sort of journey spanning throughout the rapper’s life and even trying again in direction of his ancestry by way of affect and style. These tracks, “System”, and “Lazarus”, additionally create a change in tempo and a stylistic reduction from the heavier subjects touched on throughout the document.
Maybe probably the most thrilling and stunning options from the document nevertheless come from the monitor, “In The Fireplace”, the place Dave calls upon a ‘Galacticos’ degree supporting solid with a view to ship a tune that will likely be etched endlessly within the canons of UK rap. Fredo, Meekz Manny, Ghetts, and Giggs all ship stellar verses on a gospel sampled beat that wouldn’t really feel misplaced on the brand new Kanye West album. This monitor brings collectively the outdated and new faculty in a approach which feels natural and sees everybody on it elevate themselves to the very pinnacle of their recreation, and Dave himself greater than holds his personal on the closing verse.
The quilt artwork for this album is a rework of Impressionist painter Claude Monet’s work, Impression, Soleil Levant, which includes a boat at sea. This ties collectively the themes of migration and heritage which run by way of the document, whereas the Impressionist motion itself sought to maneuver away from the normal canons of artwork with a view to achieve their affect from much less recognised places, in addition to portraying their very own ideas and feelings throughout the canvas. In essence, that is what Dave has managed to do on We’re All Alone In This Collectively, combining a wide selection of influences and genres while additionally placing his personal emotions and feelings on the forefront of the album.
The rapper now has two traditional albums on the age of 23, one thing that even the greats of UK rap by no means managed to attain at that stage of their careers. Dave has surpassed the conversations of high 10 lists and who takes the seat on the throne, which I believe we’re all responsible of arguing about relating to rappers on this nation. With two seminal albums at such a younger age, Dave has the world at his ft, and it actually does really feel as if his star goes to shine even brighter within the years to return. Stream the album under, and make sure to take a look at our checklist of his most important tracks so far proper here.