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21 Savage: Issa Album [Slaughter Gang/Epic, 07/07/2017]
From last year’s exhibitionist approach on the Metro Boomin collaboration in Savage Mode, which was laughably and exhaustively fraught with the gangsta stereotypes and little in the way of euphemisms, to this here exact-same poser poise, 21 Savage’s full-length debut is not as dank on the production which means the words may not be construed by the listener as such and may not be linked as much to that exhibitionist side on first listen. But the words really should be, even with a longing piano to start us off (“I can’t go nowhere without a pistol or a rubber”). We see a figure confident in his assertion as one of the bad boys of gangsta trap. We know he isn’t but we like it anyway, even when we shouldn’t. His back-of-the-larynx cadence may be deadpan, which is even more pronounced when the vocal enhancements enter the fray, but it adds to his concocted lowbrow character. (7/10)
Coldplay: Kaleidoscope EP (EP) [Parlophone, 14/07/2017]
Coming out all prog blazing—and needed more than anything they’ve produced before—Coldplay kicks off with a grounded statement that lays out nothing for what’s to come, unfortunately. Chris Martin’s such a tease. (6/10)
Mura Masa: Mura Masa [Anchor Point/Polydor, 14/07/2017]
In the age of post-dubstep (you can add at least another “post” on to that), Guernsey passes as the tropics, Desiigner is decipherable, and Mura Masa is eclectic in his choice of collaborators (maybe not quite the beats). But this hip-hop-R&B-dance-electronic effort could potentially consolidate Alex Crossan’s path to being one of the UK’s brightest new producers. Or Guernsey’s brightest, at least. (6/10)