‘Tyron’ is unlikely to gain the same acclaim and hold the same legacy as it’s predecessor, but it still contains stunning moments that are great and shocking in equal measure
Slowthai’s follow up to the critically acclaimed ‘Nothing Great About Britain’, despite being just 35 minutes in length, is split into two halves; the first half stylized in all-upper case, the second; all lower-case. The first half can’t be dismissed in it’s entirety, it definitely has it’s moments – ’45 SMOKE’ is transfixingly menacing, Skepta’s flow is as good as ever on ‘CANCELLED’ and ‘VEX’ is definitely an album highlight. However, too often the first half comes off as little more than a caricature of ‘Slowthai’; only emboldening his harshest critics whose views of him revolve almost solely around his disastrous stunt at the NME Awards. For the most part, the first half is obnoxious, aggressive and untactfully throws around violent threats (“Take me for c*nt, get knife to lung”) – without any softer or more self-aware moments to balance this out. Much of ‘Nothing Great About Britain’ was similarly shocking and anger-filled; yet without the same righteous political fury of his debut, these moments fail to stick the landing on the first half.
The second half of ‘Tyron’ is infinitely more interesting, with it’s self-reflective hue, it feels more multi-dimensional and vulnerable. The first half may have been made to be shocking, but it the second half which really contains moments powerful enough to take you off guard; with the first lyrics off the first song (‘I Tried’) from the second half being “I tried to die / I tried to take my life”. ‘Terms’ showcases Slowthai’s flow at it’s best, while perfectly contrasting the aggression of his own verses with the slower, distorted vocals delivered by Dominic Fike and Denzel Curry.
‘Push’ meanwhile is the best collaboration on ‘Tyron’; with Deb Never’s quietly devastating vocals complementing Showthai’s forthright admissions of emotion (“If I said I loved you, I would never leave you / If I said I loved you, it’s because I need you”). Final track ‘Adhd’ meanwhile contains some of the fieriest moments on ‘Tyron’; however, here these moments of anger are built upon a foundation of deep emotional angst – meaning these aggressive moments land much better than those situated on the first half of the album.
‘Nothing Great About Britain’ was always going to be an exceptionally hard album to follow up, but – to it’s benefit – ‘Tyron’ doesn’t seem overly concerned with the expectations game and Slowthai goes in a distinct new thematical direction with his sophomore album. ‘Tyron’ is unlikely to gain the same acclaim and hold the same legacy as it’s predecessor, but it still contains stunning moments that are great and shocking in equal measure.
Best Tracks: VEX, i tried, terms, push, adhd
Worst Track: Mazza