‘Loyle Carner has a new found maturity in this sophomore release where Loyle has solidified his style as poet, storyteller and emotionally open family man.’

Loyle Carner’s work has always been termed as rap due to it being the closest musical genre it fits into but in reality ironically it’s sound closest resembles the incorrect rumour that rap is an initialism for rhythm and poetry; Loyle Carner has a new found maturity in this sophomore release where Loyle has solidified his style as poet, storyteller and emotionally open family man.

‘With ‘Not Waving, But Drowning’ Loyle Carner accents his talents with guests enhancing but not overpowering his work.’

It’s 2 years since Loyle’s debut album which catapulted him to mainstream awareness with a BRIT Award nomination and a Mercury Music Prize Nomination and Loyle is back with an album that doesn’t compromise on integrity choosing to drop the tempo throughout the majority of ‘Not Waving, But Drowning’ losing Loyle Carner’s previously ADHD characterised numbers with jazz and soul among plethora of influences throughout the album. With Loyle’s profile raised it has brought him the ability to litter the album with well-known names including fellow Mercury nominee Jorja Smith, Jordan Rakei and others including debut album collaborator Tom Misch. Stereotypically rap albums can be so full of guests the listener can be confused as to whether the artist is barely more than a producer; with ‘Not Waving, But Drowning’ Loyle Carner accents his talents with guests enhancing but not overpowering his work.

‘This is the Loyle Carner album Loyle as a relaxed self-assured man he was always supposed to release but its timing is perfect to accompany cider fuelled festival fields and BBQ beer soaked garden parties.’

Dropping ‘Not Waving, But Drowning’ in Brexit confused Spring 2019 plays well as a polar opposite series of anthems to a frustrated population musically fuelled by the post-punk scene; this is the Loyle Carner album Loyle as a relaxed self-assured man he was always supposed to release but its timing is perfect to accompany cider fuelled festival fields and BBQ beer soaked garden parties. The albums mellow vibe allows it to be enjoyed as a soundtrack to any occasion, but upon closer inspection of Loyle’s lyricism reveals honesty at every possible point. Opening track ‘Dear Jean’ is a letter to Loyle’s mum as he moves in with his girlfriend; ‘Krispy’ is the attempt to repair broken relationships with best friend Rebel Kleff unsuccessfully inviting Rebel to the studio to work together; there are more nods to his family including ‘Looking Back’ where Loyle discusses his fathers (biological and deceased step father) and the album title is named after a poem of his grandfather.

‘Not Waving, But Drowning’ will be seen in the future a timeless genre pushing classic.’

‘Not Waving, But Drowning’ will be seen in the future a timeless genre pushing classic inviting future rappers to expand their musical influences past Americas east coast and west coast sounds and east London grime. Rap albums have often featured as Eminem termed ‘skits’ as seemingly random audio clips which Loyle Carner has chosen to continue from his first album into ‘Not Waving, But Drowning’ using his phone to record clips including a phone conversation with a taxi driver. ‘Not Waving, But Drowning’ continues with every element we’ve come to love of Loyle Carner’s output but in a refined manner, the manner that comes with experience.

‘‘Not Waving, But Drowning’ continues with every element we’ve come to love of Loyle Carner’s output but in a refined manner, the manner that comes with experience.’

10/10

Label: AMF Records

Released: 19 April 2019

Words: James Wadsworth

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