This week we continue our newly released album review with Stormzy – Gang Signs & Prayers 

Review: Jamie Read.

Grime music is a genre that developed from East London during the noughties.

The genre has seen the emergence of some popular chart artists; Kano, Dizzee Rascal, Jme and the hugely successful Skepta.

Most recently, artist Stormzy has released his first album – which is remarkable given he was the Best Grime Act at the MOBO Awards fro 2014 and ‘15.

His album, Gang Signs & Prayers, starts with setting his own story straight on First Things First.

It’s a fiery start, intense in its delivery. He raps how he has been working hard, had some personal problems but is back to take over the grime scene.

Bad Boys sees Stormzy and fellow grime artists J Hus and Ghetts pick apart people mistakenly thinking they’re tough, when they’re not. It has the most addictive hook on the album.

Blinded By Your Grace, Pt. 1 and then also Pt. 2 are two tracks with a choral sound. They juxtapose most of the album thanks to Stormzy singing, as opposed to rapping. On Pt. 2 the voice of MNEK really helps take any listener on a spiritual journey.

Big For Your Boots shows a confidence from Stormzy as he elongates the word boots and warns he’ll bring anybody down to earth.

The music behind the rap must not be forgotten. It enhances the vocals  and orchestral sounds on Mr Skeng are the most impressive on the album.

Gang Signs & Prayers concludes on an the very personal Lay Me Bare. Stormzy shows the impact of his father leaving him and his mother, finishing the album on his most open track.

Gang Signs & Prayers has the ability to be a mainstream success. Open, original and completely brilliant.

Overall star rating: 5/5

Songs to play on repeat: First Things First, Cold, Big For Your Boots, Blinded By Your Grace Pt. 2, Mr Skeng, Lay Me Bare