Friday, 6 April 2012

Review: Labrinth - Electronic Earth

It was set to be one of the most eagerly anticipated albums of 2012, with Labrinth already getting off to a flying start in late 2010 with 'Let the Sun Shine' and later sending us into a frenzy with his next release of  'Earthquake' in late 2011 which featured Tinie Tempah, we were left in deep admiration of the producer turned solo artist and craving his debut album. Electronic Earth, the title of Labrinth's debut album is an LP which has a title of such promise and excitement but sadly doesn't deliver to us as much as the hype and his twitter feed seemed to have promised. The album as a whole is incredibly weak and average, and it is never a good thing for starters when you see that two of the first three songs are tracks he has released previously ('Earthquake' and 'Last Time'). There are some decent songs on the album in 'Climb on Board' and 'Beneath Your Beautiful' which features Emeli Sande and there is evidence that Labrinth can produce very good instrumentals with 'Last Time' definitely proving this, it's just the fact that this talent can more than easily be lost within the overly auto-tuned vocals which are splayed over the vast majority of the songs on the album. Sadly, Electronic Earth is overshadowed by one song and one song only and that is the shining beacon that is 'Earthquake', and it is right to say that Labrinth really doesn't do that any more favours in the fact he places a big name remix of the single as a bonus track. 

It was always going to be a task to produce an album that repeated this high octave breakthrough single, and subsequently we have a case of a producer who has stepped into the spotlight, with huge inexperience and has inevitably been stiffled by the magnitude of this pressure. With him being the first artist that Simon Cowell signed to his Syco label outside of The X Factor, and his acclaimed production credits on some massive singles in 2011 which included Tinie Tempah's 'Pass Out' and 'Frisky', there was always going to be a huge amount of pressure on Labrinth's shoulders. Labrinth is a wonderful man, and his appearances on television have always shown him to be a humble, well spoken individual, but it is apparent he needs to work more on his delivery especially in such a competitive genre of music. We don't think he should pack in his frontline music career, but he should possibly take a leaf out of Tinie Tempah's book and formulate his own original style, and tone down the unnecessary amount of auto-tune as he actually has a good voice. We hope he does come back in a year's time with stronger material as there is a lot of potential in Labrinth who's production skills are consistently second to none. Make of it what you want anyway...

Rating: 5/10

Download: 'Earthquake (All Stars Remix)', 'Last Time', 'Climb on Board', 'Beneath Your Beautiful'.