What does it sound like?:
Ten weeks in and the first essential album of 2019 has arrived, I would contend. UK rap has in Dave a bona fide superstar, and Psychodrama is a staggeringly complete achievement. Like all the best rap, it feels like a communication from the last ten minutes. Psychodrama covers growing up in S London (Streatham), love (Purple Hearts), London (screwface capital) and two tracks that will stop you in your tracks. Black, the subject of some controversy before release, is a witty and impassioned critique of what being black means: prejudice, heritage, pride, confusion, .. then comes and a ten-minute story of an abusive relationship (Lesley) that recalls nothing so much as the shattering Boiler from the Special AKA.
The music scape is a world away from the clattering beats and jittery rhythms of grime. The music is sparse, downbeat and introspective. Piano is the most prominent instrument, and if you can think of the gauzy moodiness of Burial, crossed with the pop sensibilities and drops of The Weeknd you’re halfway there. Without any of The Weeknd’s appalling misogyny. It’s a compelling listen from start to finish.
What does it all *mean*?
It doesn’t sound like the future, it sounds absolutely like the present.
Goes well with…
Might suit people who like…
It won’t be for everyone, but you really should open your ears.