JME – Blam! | Album Review

For the genre of Grime, its somewhat important that as much as there’s a desire for many emcees to become the next Dizzee, there are also a clutch of those who will remain within the compounds of Grime to steer the ship.

For those who believe that sentiment, it’s probably likely that they have a huge admiration and respect for JME. Possessing the lyrical ferociousness of a Top Three emcee, JME also has the charisma and unique character to transcend to the mainstream. Yet his desire to continue to make the music he loves remains top priority, so with his latest release Blam! this should act as the epitome of what the Boy Better Know affiliate is all about.

A dark and slick intro opens up Blam! as JME pairs off with Manchester’s Trigga to deliver a well crafted head-nodder to warm up the listeners. The 8-bit computer game influenced ‘Famalam’ is a raucous offering which suits JME’s off-the-wall hype bars. The North London MC excels in both offering abrasive, rave shattering bars and clear, precise lyrics which are littered with humour and references which Grime followers will enjoy.

The two-stepping lead single ‘CD Is Dead,’ featuring Tempa T, exemplifies both the energetic anarchy (provided by Tempz) and the humorous bars (provided by JME). When collaborating with his BBK brethren, JME loses none of his shine and even brings more intensity to his performances when spitting with Skepta, Frisco and co. ‘Hospital’ sees the team come together, resulting in a pounding, grim link-up anthem, which could very well find success in other musical arenas.

Although composed mostly of hardened, zoning out material (‘It’s Not A Long Ting’ the most defining of this format) Blam! also provides glimpses into the other sides of JME. ‘Oh’ is probably the closest thing you’ll get to a romantic JME song, yet its dizzy production plus the airy vocals from Jewels make it just as effective as any mushy R&B Pop tune. The more introspective ‘Sidetracked’ is one of the standout tracks of Blam! as its subtle, droning tones add a chilled vibe to match JME’s pondering of the trials of an independent Grime artist.

Consistency is what makes Blam! stand out amongst both the underground and mainstream releases from the grime/urban pop collective. JME stays close to home with his music heavily immersed in 140 beats, hazy basslines and heavy bars. With more albums nowadays sticking to 12 or 13 tracks, JME optioning to provide 16 tracks may be a couple tracks too many, especially with one or two tracks sounding too familiar. Yet JME’s unhinged energy and very humourous punchlines result in a heavyweight album which hits like a punch in the nose like ‘Blam!

Blam! is out now via Boy Better Know; iTunes/Amazon.

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