Album: Plan B, The Defamation of Strickland Banks (679)

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The Independent Culture

Tell me you saw this coming.

Ben Drew has followed the pitiless social realism of his debut, the excellent but harrowing Who Needs Actions When You Got Words, with a retro-soul concept album about a crooner who gets fitted up for murder. It's like the writers of The Wire suddenly remaking The Commitments.

And whaddayaknow, this ugly duckling – out of a hoodie and into a tux – turns out to have a fine white soul voice and has followed a record you couldn't bear to hear more than once with a record you'll want to play over and over.