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Album review: Loyle Carner – Yesterday’s Gone

In Hip Hop by Nick Russell

Album review: Loyle Carner – Yesterday’s Gone

Review by Sophie Macroni.

South London artist Loyle Carner’s debut album has been anticipated by many. How couldn’t it be for an upstart who has already supported Nas, Joey Badass and MF Doom? I first came across him about a year ago when a friend took me to see him play. A confident and gracious performer, complete with live band, he killed it. A year on he releases ‘Yesterday’s Gone’ and it’s a blend of hip hop and spoken word with a poppy, jazzy sound.

He is a deft story teller and the production of the release is tight. It is certainly listenable, and some of the tracks are great. But it is a very safe sound – hip hop you could probably play to your Gran. One of the tracks was used in an iPhone 6 advert. The Guardian described him as “the sentimental face of grime” (You won’t find any grime on the album).

“The Isle of Arran”

What I’m trying to say is, if a decent attempt, it’s not a record likely to perk the ears of many British hip-hop heads. That’s not to say it isn’t interesting…

“The Isle of Arran” is the opening track and the most interesting musically with a dramatic, building dynamic and gospel chorus. If storytelling is your thing, then “Stars and Shards” is a lingering, gripping, creepy tale.

“No Worries” may perk up the ears of UK hip hop heads for whom this album would normally be too pop. Featuring heavyweight legend Jehst, there are some tracks I’ll be picking out here and listening to again. I’ll be interested to see how the album is received by hip-hop fans.

To make your own mind up (for free!) “Yesterday’s Gone” can be found on Spotify and you can cop the signed CD/vinyl here.

Watch our video of him from June 2015, alongside Stig, Micall Parknsun and Sonny Jim at the Deal Real store in Soho, London.