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Wiley is what you could call a churner. Basically, you'll rarely find a time when he's not making music. When he's not pulling stunts by saying he's retiring, he's always got a new batch of music around the corner. So for an artist who may only have five official albums, to date, EPs mixtapes and free download zips are always around the corner. "100% Publishing" dropped in 2011 and as his fourth label-released album from Eski Boy (Grime's undisputed figurehead).
Wiley flies in carrying a more level-headed mentality into this project. Whereas past albums may have relied a bit too much on his unpredictability, there's a sense that he locks into a specific direction and it means great things can expand on from that initial base point. The record doesn't really go through any bumpy parts as a result, so it means picking out the highlights is a bit of a task. In a round about way, you should be turning to "Yonge Street" and "Pink Lady" if you want Wiley to be in playful mode; you should turn to "Wise Man and His Words" and "Your Intuition" if you want to hear his thought-provoking moments; you'll find the eccentric side when you move onto "Boom Boom Da Na" and "Information Age". It's got every side to Wiley (other than his 'Soundbwoy' setting) and will satisfy the vast majority of his current fanbase.
The main criticisms of the album will only tend to come from those who a) Don't care about Grime music or b) Got into Grime early, was very fond of his early stuff and don't like his new direction. Really, Wiley's on a roll with this release and it doesn't deserve to be knocked back by such technicalities. Honestly, you'll be troubled trying to find where he goes wrong with it.
Wiley completely refreshes his sound with this album, whilst retaining his innate 'Eski' tinges. Producing and writing 100% of the release works in his favour as he build something which firs the 'Wiley' mould perfectly - keeping his personality intact - whilst still having that appeal for everyone. Although "Numbers in Action" isn't the best reflection of the album (simply because there's more of a Grime core in the rest of it) it stands as a fair representation of Wiley's wide-appealing sound and how he translates it into the record.
It really does feel like he's stepped into a new world with this album (as you'll notice listening to the LP which followed this in early 2012) and marks a mature new twist to the ever-lingering Grime style he popularised. He lyrics are insightful just as they are comical and he ever fits in the odd singalong to make sure no one is left out. You should make sure you aren't one of the ones who are.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Information Age
2 100% Publishing
3 Numbers In Action
4 Boom Boom Da Na
5 Your Intuition
6 I Just Woke Up
7 Wise Man and His Words
8 Talk About Life
9 Yonge Street (1,178 Miles Long)
10 Pink Lady
11 Up There
12 One Hit Wonder
13 To Be Continued
14 Chill (Bonus Track)