Album: Plan B, The Defamation of Strickland Banks (679)
Friday 09 April 2010
Like Eminem, the rapper whose example first gave him the impetus to start his own hip-hop career, Ben Drew has devised a second alter-ego to work alongside his Plan B character.
There, however, the comparisons end: Strickland Banks is a white soul singer who, in the song narrative The Defamation of Strickland Banks, achieves brief fame but is then framed for a crime he didn't commit and winds up in jail, where he wilts under the threats of violence, becomes a recluse and eventually kills a fellow inmate. Drew wants to film the story – a course he should be dissuaded from taking, since it's a very slim tale, overly freighted with repetitive proclamations of innocence and pleas for freedom. These are all delivered in Drew's thin, reedy take on the soulful falsettos of Smokey Robinson and Marvin Gaye, which unlike theirs grows less compelling, once the initial edge of vulnerability in "Hard Times" is past. The backings are mostly Motown-manqué stompers dressed in shivers of soul strings, but despite authentic touches like the way the bassline tiptoes around the groove of "Writing's on the Wall" in the manner of James Jamerson, they lack conviction, if you'll pardon the pun. An interesting diversion, but not much more.
Download this Writing's on the Wall; Hard Times; Darkest Place; Free
Art Megumi Igarashi criticises Japan's 'backwards' attitude to women's sexual expression
tv Singer could become the most unlikely star of Westeros
Ray Davies' Sunny Afternoon scoops the most awardsTheatre
Grace DentChannel 4 show proves there's no app for happiness
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Kylie Jenner challenge: Bizarre lip suction device inspired by Kardashian sister goes viral
- 2 Rarest Beanie Baby bought for just £10 at car boot sale could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
- 5 Giorgio Armani criticises the way some gay men dress saying 'a man has to be a man'
Poldark, review: Revolution is in the air as women fling mud in the eyes of the silly chaps
Britain's Got Talent 2015: RSPCA investigating Marc Metral's miming dog after cruelty complaints
Star Wars: Rogue One trailer: Watch the teaser for the Jedi-less Death Star heist film
Star Wars 7: George Lucas admits he hasn't seen The Force Awakens trailer
Avengers: Age of Ultron: 'After credits' scene leaks online
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate