Sunday, 31 December 2017
Favourite Albums of 2017 #6 Stormzy - Gang Signs & Prayer
A Grime album might not be the sort of thing you expect to see in a list of my favourite records of 2017. Pop? Sure. Indie? Almost definitely. Folk? Highly likely. But maybe not Grime. However, the way I listen to music these days, thanks to streaming services, has changed everything. Now there’s no need to play safe. You can have a go at listening to virtually anything and find the good and great stuff in any genre, from any time period if you want to.
Gang Signs & Prayer certainly fits the category of good and great.
Why do I like it so much? Because it’s not just a series of claustrophobic heavy hitting bangers thrown together with little consideration as to how it will work as an album. Gang Signs & Prayer is a multi-faceted, layered album of some magnitude that shows a vulnerable and highly likeable side to Stormzy. From its referencing of The Last Supper on the cover artwork, to tracks that feature gospel, soul and talk about big subjects like mental health, his mother’s unconditional love and religion, Stormzy goes in deep. If that all sounds like it might be a little too over emo, there’s also humour and plenty of bravado as well with bangers like Shut Up, Big For Your Boots and Mr Skeng.
Ultimately what makes Gang Signs & Prayer such a good record is the balance of the tracks, Stormzy’s personality and of course his lyrical delivery – either rapped or sung. Even if you’re not a fan of Grime, this one is worth a listen.
Stormzy - Blinded By Your Grace Pt2 Ft MNEK