CD review: Tinie Tempah, Demonstration (Parlophone)


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The Independent Culture

That workaday title says much about this second album from the London rapper: where his debut, Discovery, proffered cheeky, new-boy charm, this feels like a wearisome exercise in reasserting his market appeal.

It splits neatly between swaggering party numbers and earnest emo ballads while working in guests galore – including multiple soul divas – and crowd-pleasing ornaments, such as the Daft Punk-style synth hook of “Lover Not a Fighter”.

Musically, it feels efficient but mostly obvious and lyrically, mostly jarring: you wonder how anyone can record a track as idealistic as “A Heart Can Save the World” and also indulge in the grim misogyny of “Shape”. He’d do well to demonstrate a sense of irony next time round.