Tom: I know it’s not the normal style of music we review, but the new single by Tinie Tempah is bloody amazing. It’s released on 27th September, and it’s called Written in the Stars – not to be confused with the old Elton John and Leanne Rimes track. There are three reasons why I like it:
- Tinie Tempah actually shouts “let’s go” just before he starts.
- The hook is lush. I don’t mean that in the slang sense, I mean that in the same way you’d describe a tree. It’s a genius bit of complicated, layered, melodramatic major-key pop genius with a synthesised string section behind it.
- He namedrops Malorie Blackman, the young adult science fiction writer. I had to listen to that line again just to make sure I heard it right.
His earlier stuff seemed gimmicky, but this isn’t: it’s a full grown-up British rap track, and it deserves to go worldwide.
Tim: Good: the music. Perhaps even ‘very good’. The chorus is excellent, and while the rapping isn’t my thing I could happily have this on in the background. Eric Turner is definitely someone I may look into at some point in the future.
Bad: the lyrics. The second half of the first verse and the second verse seem to give a vague ‘look at me, I started low down, but I’ve worked my way up slowly but surely’ autobiographical idea, showing us he’s a good guy, he’s had stuff to work though; let’s think about him and feel for him. This would be great – it could even be slightly motivational for school kids who are feeling down on their luck. Except it can’t, because he starts out by more or less saying ‘look at me, I’m flipping awesome’, Flo Rida-style, which makes him seem like an arrogant prick and kind of destroys any desire I have to get to know him. I’m sure you’re not, Tinie – in fact, you’re probably the lovely guy we see in the rest of the song – but you’ve ruined it. Sorry.
Horrendous: one lyric in particular. ‘Was leaded astray’. I don’t care if it was to make some (not particularly apparent) point about a bad education or something: it’s awful, and no excuse will change that. You’ve had enough dodgy stresses elsewhere that ‘I was led astray’ would work just as well and not be massively annoying.
Like I said, I could more than happily have this on in the background. The music’s brilliant, and I can’t really fault it. If I have to listen to it and pay attention to it, though: sorry, but no.
Tom: Damn. Now you mention it, it’s like the spell is broken. That ‘brap brap’ in the first verse annoys the hell out of me, come to think of it, along with some of the dodgy stresses you mentioned. It’s a shame because the rest of it really is so good.
I tried hunting for other music by the same team, but the producer’s name is simply “Ishi” – which is ungooglable – and I really can’t find anything else about this particular Eric Turner online. That’s annoying because I want an album that sounds like this… only without Tinie Tempah.
Tim: Hurrah! Tim Jeffries, ruining hip hop for other people since 2010!