Rudimental: We The Generation

review rudimental x1 cong

Thanks to the lateness of this arriving, it was already number one in the album charts (and it’s 40 in music on Amazon), which tells you as much as a review could ever do. People like this stuff.
Rudimental appear to have become the house band for new talent (though they write the tunes too). Opener I Will For Love is drum n bass, which gives it a modern feel, but Rudimental are generally more old fashioned than that: the album is a pleasing mix of old school disco, soul and funk. We say “old school” because they don’t overly complicate the music and play clean pop tunes that are meant to be danced to. You could stitch one of these tracks in a seventies chart run-down and no-one would notice. Go Far nicks the drums from Billy Jean, a straightforward smash and grab.
While writing a good tune is clever there’s nothing overly clever about the album, which is relaxed and approachable. The variation in sounds and singers mean you can play this all day and never tire.
Guest singers include Will Heard (he of Klangkarussell fame), Foy Vance, Ed Sheeran, Mahalia, Anne-Marie, Ella Eyre, Dizzee Rascal, Lianne La Havas, Bobby Womack (RIP), Sinead Harnett, Max Romeo, Earl 16 and Spee.
Musically, it’s feel-good dance, though firmly on the pop side. The first couple of tracks are drum n bass, Never Let You Go letting in a clear soul influence, with brass, and a glorious hook in the chorus. The title track is more soul/funk, while Love Ain’t Just A Word blends reggae and DnB, plus rapping from Dizzee; it reminded us of something we can’t quite place. The album chills as it gets into its stride and other tracks are modern takes of classic 70s/80s soul disco, such as Rumour Mill and Common Emotion. As well as purloining Jacko’s drumbeat, Foreign World has echoes of Diane Ross and Too Cool remodels some other soul diva we can’t place.
Bloodstream with Ed Sheeran is a more modern sound; Needn’t Speak with Ms La Havas is slower and funkier while Mr Womack’s tune is a stripped down funk monster.
There’s nothing approaching a dull song but Lay It All On Me with Sheeran is perhaps the standout, the song you’d get up to dance to with a smile on your face. A one word review of all this: outstanding.

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