Tinie Tempah – Disc-Overy | Album Review

Its been proven time and time again that it takes just one song to skyrocket an artist’s profile to nosebleed heights. In 2010, that story can be truly applied to Tinie Tempah. Located in the Grime arena beforehand, his previous offerings were applauded by some but weren’t setting the world alight. But a phenomenal number one record with ‘Pass Out’ took the South London artist to national newspaper coverage, magazine spreads and performing at some of the biggest events of the year. Whilst a single may have provided all of the above luxuries, an album will solidify any accolades which may have been handed out as Tinie Tempah takes flight to a destination of success with his Disc-Overy debut.

Tinie’s success has been down to his abrasive, in-your-face approach to tracks, which unsurprisingly draws the curtains on his album intro. Riding wrecklessly on a rollercoaster-like drum’n’bass instrumental, Tempah’s high voltage output is positively chaotic – a fitting reflection of the South London rapper’s “wild lifestyle” and the direction taken by his album as a whole.

Disc-Overy is a fun-house of blaring computer game effects, harmonious keys and classic beats, all held together by Tinie Tempah’s unique delivery (albeit with questionable lyricism). His Pop-Grime formula delves further into urban sub-genres than his fellow chart stars, with tracks such as ‘Simply Unstoppable’, the aforementioned intro and ‘Snap’ all holding onto musical elements which would be considered less ‘commercial’ than his other material.

Tinie’s tracks can be put into two clear categories – songs obviously aimed at chart appeal, and those which experiment with a variety of beats and song structures. The latter group is where you find the more appealing songs on this album – which include the successful ‘Pass Out’ and ‘Frisky’, both produced by the revelation of 2010 Labrinth. What we find in the first group are songs which play it safe with cliched tales of love and overcoming odds; ‘Just A Little’ (featuring Range) and the Kelly Rowland featured ‘Invincible’ both lack Disc-Overy‘s general energy and spark.

Even the recent chart-topping ‘Written In The Stars‘ lacks originality and plays out like a re-hash of various US artists’ ‘top of the world’ motifs. But when avoiding the trap of emulating prior successes, Tinie is on form. Although the pulsating ‘Miami To Ibiza’ featuring Swedish House Mafia is more to the Swedes’ credit than the rapper’s it still provides a great late summer anthem, whilst ‘Wonderman’ featuring Ellie Goulding shows how a collaboration on a Tinie/Labrinth production should sound, as her warbling melodies add another dimension to the brilliant, multi-layered tune.

The outcome of Tinie Tempah’s odyssey is an album which aims to offer something for everybody – a fatal mistake which has sent many albums to the cold, bargain bin cemetery. Fortunately, Tinie’s charisma and impressive production merits will ensure that the album won’t be forgotten about too soon.

When avoiding the paint-by-numbers formula of much of today’s R&B and Hip Hop, Tempah makes vibrant, enjoyable music which is needed every once in a while. An album more for young teens who may not dissect every word, note and harmony structure, Disc-Overy further compounds Tinie’s remarkable year. The question of what’s next may take a while to answer but, for now, Tinie Tempah sits comfortably as chief hit-maker for the UK’s now established urban pop market.

Disc-Overy is out now via Parlophone / DL Records.

Privacy Preference Center