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Dave - We're All Alone in This Together (Album Review)

Friday, 30 July 2021 Written by Jacob Brookman

Dave has come a long way in a very short space of time. The south London rapper’s debut album ‘Psychodrama’ was a critical and commercial triumph, securing the Mercury Prize, hitting number one in the UK Album Charts and scooping Album of the Year at the 2020 Brit Awards. His second record may do similar business.

One reason for that vote of confidence is the strength and diversity of the songs on ‘We’re All Alone in this Together’. From the digital melancholy of opener We’re All Alone, it’s clear that this is a recording artist with a superior talent for rich, detailed and often humiliating confessionals. 

Though the record often deals with familiar tropes, the clarity of the storytelling and musicality of the production—frequently handled by James Blake—makes for a very fresh sounding LP.

This is demonstrated on Clash, a fairly conventional grime workout with tinny 808 drum loops and bars that open strongly and depart with laconic vocal slurring. But in the hands of Dave and his guest Stormzy, it’s a track that thuds with ideas and concepts, tumbling out all over the place gorgeously.

Employing this in a different way is In The Fire, an ecclesiastical toe tapper that matches gospel backing with sermon samples. Though the production here is a little imbalanced, the vitality of the arrangement—a half time section here, a choral refrain there—makes it stand out. 

If there is a criticism of ‘We’re All Alone in this Together’, it’s probably that the record does not have the white hot currency of ‘Psychodrama’. References to Jeremy Corbyn, for example, suddenly feel dated. But it's already one of the best UK rap releases of the year. As the scene becomes ever more competitive and creatively vibrant, Dave may just have solidified his position at the top table.

Dave Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows

Sat September 11 2021 - MANCHESTER Heaton Park

Compare & Buy Dave Tickets at Stereoboard.com.

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