Album review: Rizzle Kicks, Roaring 20s (Island)

4.00

Album of the Week: Rizzle dazzle with a fast-talking slice of everyday life

The opening query on Rizzle Kicks' follow-up to Stereo Typical –“What you got a naggy face for?” – is an apt gambit, both for its delicious use of evocative slang and as a marker to the album's attitude. Because it's hard to imagine anyone keeping a sour visage when faced with the duo's rumbustious, rapscallion patter, as zestful a representation of young British pop-art style as you'll hear all year.

Through 14 tracks, Jordan and Harley offer a fast-talking, witty and well-meaning account of day-to-day life for sharp-eyed British youth, finding new angles on such perennial dilemmas as chatting up a girl without appearing a twat (“Wind Up”), being an under-achiever at school who comes to articulate life at night (“Lunatic”), and in “Me Around You”, that most sensitive of issues: how to tell a mate you're glad he's broken up with his girlfriend, without triggering a row – a situation brilliantly summarised in the couplet, “It wasn't cool, you were a different you, acting like she was going to fit into a missing shoe”.

There's room for a smidgeon of darker social issues – notably the observation, “Some of the things that happened in Neasden weren't pleasing, the stabbings and beatings” – but they're kept to passing asides. Instead, they prefer to slip in sly digs like the one in the single “Lost Generation” about being “more confused than all of John Terry's black friends” – regarding which they apparently sought legal advice in advance of its release.

Ant Whiting's production applies appropriately bouncy, ebullient settings to the duo's raps, while the use of brash trumpet and sax lends additional spark, particularly on the reggae grooves to “Me Around You” and “Wind Up”, and the infectious “Skip To The Good Bit”. But there's an extra dimension added by the occasional jazz elements, especially Jamie Cullum's guest croon and antique R&B piano groove to “The Reason I Live”, bearing out the track's recommendation of old classics as salve for the irritations of modern life. What better way to dispel the naggy face?

Download: Lost Generation; The Reason I Live; Me Around You; Skip To The Good Bit

Arts and Entertainment

Great British Bake Off
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

    Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

    But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
    Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

    Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

    Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
    Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

    Britain's 24-hour culture

    With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
    Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

    The addictive nature of Diplomacy

    Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
    Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

    Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

    Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
    8 best children's clocks

    Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

    Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
    Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

    Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

    After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
    Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

    How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

    Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
    Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

    'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

    In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
    Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

    The Arab Spring reversed

    Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
    King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

    Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

    Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
    Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

    Who is Oliver Bonas?

    It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
    Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

    Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

    However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
    60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

    60 years of Scalextric

    Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones