Chase & Status – No More Idols
Chase & Status have already been very significant in 2011 for me. For starters, they brought in the year at Nottingham’s Rock City when they played the 2011 countdown which was something very special; to be surrounded by great friends in your favourite city, your hometown no less and with some great music pumping very loud (how I intend to start every year for the foreseeable future).
Then, on the 31st of January, they released No More Idols, their second album of which three of their songs had been released as singles before the album had, clearly showing the distance they have come since the release of their 2008 debut album, More Than Alot (they rereleased in 2010 with new songs such as Nneka’s Heartbeat and Saxon).
No More Idols features an array of artists including Plan B (who they had already worked with), Tinie Tempah, Clare Maguire and notably Dizzee Rascal. It is, however, important to note that these artists aren’t just name drops to give the album credibility, each one brings with them something to contribute to the album, they appear as guest artists, collaborators rather than lent vocals to a redundant track.
The album has fifteen tracks (plus a minimix on the deluxe edition) for your pleasure with recognisable singles such as Let You Go, Hypest Hype (featuring Tempa T) and End Credits (featuring Plan B) from the Harry Brown (2010, directed by Daniel Barber starring Michael Caine) soundtrack.
It is something of a cyclonic album as it whisks up genres from drum n bass to dubstep whilst infusing hip hop, grime and indie too. This album explodes in your ears giving you punches of fast and slow, upbeat and melancholy and powerful and delicate. It insights feelings of acid house parties in the nineties, drum n bass raves in the naughties and a mixture of dance music elements that are new and pioneering.
A clear highlight of the album is Heavy featuring Dizzee Rascal, a return to his drum n bass MCing roots which he works so effectively to create vocals for a high end dance track. Chase & Status draw from the jungle style drum n bass which recent artists of the genre seem to have left behind as well as incorporating more contemporary bassline and grime elements to create a strong, British electronic sounding track.
Other strong tracks include Brixton Briefcase featuring CeeLo Green which sounds more like the early, darker, Gnarls Barkley tracks rather than the newer, happier sounding CeeLo. Flashing Lights has strong production influence from the impressive drum n bass artist, Sub Focus creating a solid, liquid-style drum n bass track. A personal favourite on the album is Fool Yourself featuring their good friend, Plan B as well as Rage; it’s a high impact, supersonic, pumped up dance track which uses a solid drum n bass beat with a contrasting vocal hook which seems designed intentionally for club style dance music.
The album on the whole is strong and powerful but seems to be unrefined slightly on a couple of tracks and for that reason I’m giving it 4 out 5 stars. However, if you haven’t already, go out and get this album!