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Labrinth hasn't had too much time to adjust to fame. After breaking Tinie Tempah into the industry with "Pass Out", he was quickly swooped up by Simon Cowell and added to the personnel of producers and songwriters who can make pure hits. Producing for the likes of Devlin, Tinchy Stryder and Ms. Dynamite, he score points with tastemakers for his innovations and impressive genre fusions, before he broke out as a solo star in his own right with "Let the Sun Shine". Now in 2012, Labrinth released his debut album, "Electronic Earth" to show what he was about as an artist, as opposed to what his production duties have shown of his so far.
The album gives a chance to set the foundations for Labrinth's masterplan to take over the world. As a producer, his ideas are simply genius and few are likely to pull him up for stealing ideas from others, so it leads to some very solid Pop songs and a lot of tolerable Electro. Once you've skimmed over the tracks that you know and have been played a lot on radio, he supports them with more prop-up material, like "Vultures" and "Treatment", which unintentionally boasts his unmatchable skill as a songwriter.
As there's a lot to praise Labrinth for, many would assume that there wouldn't really be much to say on the negative side, but that's completely wrong. Other than this album coming out a good six months later than it should have (when the ball got rolling with "Let the Sun Shine", when his sound felt completely new) it's an album too caught up on going far into the future. From "Climb On Board" to "Last Time", his experiments with sound feel a bit intrusive and brash, whereas he shined with more subtle elements in the past. As well as this, it's only 10 songs long, so it's obvious when something doesn't work, as the singles take precedence and overpower what the rest of it has on offer.
It's a good album if you enjoy pure excess. Whether it's with over-done Pop, over-done Electro, over-done Dubstep or whatever he does that you're into, you'll find something in here to fit in with your tastes, but it doesn't really seem like it's really all his idea - without a push in that direction to see whether he could get away with it. By subtly addressing various different sides to what he can do (like ballads, Funk covers etc.) he avoids being boxed in as a future freak who just wants to go over-the-top with synth and tracks which sounds like they were made from crayola bombs, but this is really all "Electronic Earth" is about. He'll probably better this with the next album, but from what people have heard of him so far, this doesn't quite seem enough.
Timothy McKenzie (known as Labrinth) is a song writing and record producer from England. Being signed to the Syco record label makes him their first signing for over 6 years who has not been found via a talent show. Labrinth, so far, has been a prolific signing for Syco with his debut entry in to the UK charts being the song 'Pass Out' with Tinie Tempah, which was a huge hit reaching number one and is still a club favourite more than two years since it's release.
Electronic Earth is Labrinth's debut album was released on the 2nd of April 2012 and I actually received it on this day as I downloaded it from the iTunes website. I paid £6.99 for this download, I think, and the current price is between £6 and £8 depending on where you buy this from and whether you want the explicit version, the deluxe version or the standard clean version. I downloaded the clean version and then downloaded the explicit version of the song 'Earthquake' as that was the only song marked explicit and I felt why pay £2.00 extra compared to the price for the clean album when I could download the one explicit song for just 99p extra. This meant that I got all of the songs and then the explicit one and saved myself £1.01!
As the name 'Electronic earth' might suggest there are lots of electronic beats throughout this album. There are some acoustic vibes that come too but generally this is an uplifting album with amazing electronic rifts and beats. There are some powerful lyrics throughout and you get to learn the full ability of Labrinth's voice.
Climb On Board
This is a real funky song with ever changing beats. There is a fantastic melody running through this that I loved the first time that I heard it and the piano throughout this is just fantastic and has been racing throughout the whole of this song. The lyrics of this song are talking about heading to another planet, another destination. The lyrics feel fun, funky and fresh. Labrinth's voice feels like it is exploring a range of vocal abilities. There are high notes, low almost soulful funky notes and the whole song just works incredibly well. This is a fantastic opener of an album and the beats feel fresh and vibrant.
'Labrinth come in' kicks this song off and the beats are fast paced and bring a melodic rhythm almost throughout the whole song. There are some big beats in this song and it is simple to see why this has been a fantastic club hit from almost the first note. This is the kind of song that gets young people writhing in a club and grinding around the place! The lyrics are fantastic 'Hey, I predict an earthquake up in here, say yeah, I predict an earthquake up in here, 'cos we throw bombs on it, throw bombs on it, just smash something yeah mosh for me'. The beat throughout this song is just so uplifting and even months after first hearing this song it makes me want to get up and dance. I have also found this a fantastic song to listen to when I want to motivate myself during exercise, it is just full of beats and fast paced throughout so makes the ideal song to move around to!
This song feels quite different to Earthquake. It is a change in pace, it starts of quite slow paced and Labrinth is really singing his heart out at the start of the song. Then the beat kicks in and it's another catchy tune really. This is probably less of a club filler than Earthquake but it is the kind of song that you'd want to listen to during Summer time. Labrinth's voice sounds like it has been electrified a little bit and this brings a vibrant edge to his lyrics. The song slows down again and builds up gradually through the bit and while this is not my favourite song on the album I certainly wouldn't skip it and always enjoy listening to it.
This is another song with a changing pace to it. The song feels a little more laid back and then when you start to get the full effect of the lyrics you realise that it's somewhat of a love song. The lyrics are singing of going crazy because of someone turning your heart upside down and damaging you. This is a real modern day, funky, electro style love song. It is fast paced without being too much and it feels like the lyrics are coming from the heart. This is another winner in my eyes!
This is indeed a mix/cover of the song 'Express Yourself' by Charles Wright & the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band. This is a real funky and fresh cover of the song. Express Yourself is a song that never gets old to me anyway but there are some extra funky kicks and beats within this song. Labrinth does some high tone lyrics in this and it works fantastically well. This is a real modern cover of a classic and it just works! It really works!
Let The Sun Shine
This is another song that has been a chart release for Labrinth. This song seems to start off quite soft and gentle and then it builds up in to a real fantastic hit song. 'Let the sun shine, let the sun shine baby, let it all go, let it all go baby' nice, fresh lyrics that are true really. Sometimes we all need to let it all go and enjoy life! This is a real positive feeling song and it always puts me in a good mood when I hear it. This is not the first song that I would skip to if I only had time for one or two songs but I love it all the same!
Beneath Your Beautiful
This feels different to the other songs on this album. It feels slow to start and heartfelt. The lyrics are fantastic 'you've built your walls so high that no-one can climb them' 'would you let me see beneath your beautiful'. The lyrics feel heartfelt and like they are about someone in particular rather than just being a generic love song lyric. Emile Sande works fantastically with Labrinth and their voices compliment one another in a beautiful way. This is a beautiful song and one I love probably more than any other on the album.
This picks up the beat again and restores the pace after 'Beneath Your Beautiful'. The lyrics of this song are a little naughty really. There is a funky vibe to this song and one that continues throughout. 'Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got til it's gone', that's obviously a lyric that has been taken from a song belong to another artist as it is instantly recognisable but Labryinth makes it work with the hook of the song. This is my least favourite song on the album I think but it still works incredibly well and I love the beats towards the end of the song, the beats are rocky and uplifting and bring a different vibe to the album.
This feels like quite a rocky song and some of the opening notes make me feel like it could be an emo/grunge style band and then the beat kicks in and Labrinth has his fantastic voice and his almost chatty in places lyrics that work so well. The beat is funky in this song, like most of the others on this album, and the lyrics are fun and cheeky 'there's a little bit of crazy in all of us' probably quite apt for the kind of people who would enjoy this type of music. There is a nice tambourine beat towards the end that always seems to catch my attention, even though I'm not sure why!
This is the final song on the standard version of this album. It starts off slowly and feels like it is building up to something fantastic. There is a little beat that starts low and slow and this builds up with different instruments coming in too. 'Vultures are waiting, They're waiting to take me, But not this time, Had a taste of the dream'. This is a real different song to some of the others on the album. This is a slower, softer side of Labrinth and it is a fantastic way to end this album.
Overall I feel that the Electronic Earth title is quite apt. There are lots of funky, electronic beats throughout yet somehow this manages to be an almost beautiful modern album. There are lots of fresh and funky licks with interesting lyrics throughout. Many of the songs stay in my head for hours after I listen to them and despite listening to it daily for a month solid I am yet to get tired of any of the songs, despite one or two not being quite as enjoyable for me as others. It is easy to hear that immense effort has gone in to this album and the 1 year+ wait for it was worth every minute!
Labrinth is probably one of the best artists at the moment, he is also one of the newest. A couple years ago he was in the background producing tracks for other top artists such as tinie tempa. He was then signed up by Simon cowell. His first song to be released was let the sunshine, which was an instant hit! Since hearing his first song I could not wait for his album to be realised. It took almost a year to create and I can honestly say it was worth the wait. The album is mainly electronic music, but there is also some acoustic sounds! It is completely different to anything I have heard before. Labrinth is such an original artist! There is a lot of different songs in the album which all compliment each other. I purchased the dulux edition which was 10.99 on iTunes. I believe this is a bit expensive, but I love him as an artist so much that I am happy to pay the high price. There are so many good songs on the album, it's very hard to choose a favourite. I will now show the track list for hr standard album and also the dulux album and give my ratings for each song out of ten.
Track list :
1. Climb On Board - 10/10
2. Earthquake (feat. Tinie) 10/10
3. Last Time - 9/10
4. Treatment - 8/10
5. Express Yourself - 9/10
6. Let the Sun Shine - 10/10
7. Beneath Your Beautiful (feat. Emeli Sandé) - 8/10
8. Sundown - 6/10
9. Sweet Riot - 7/10
10. Vultures - 10/10
11. Earthquake (All Stars Remix) - 9.5/10
12. T.O.P - 5/10
13. Up In Flames (Feat. Devlin & Tinchy Stryder) 8-10
14. Last Time (Knife Party Remix) 8/10
15. Earthquake (Noisia Remix) 5/10
Why I love the album and my favourite tracks:
I love the album because the tracks are all so different. Labrinth also doesn't collaborate with many artists which is rare for modern albums, he can release music that doesn't need to feature anyone which I believe to be a breath of fresh air. His voice is very versatile and sounds great in all of his songs. I have seen him live once and he can sing amazingly, his Voice is genuine and although some songs use affects on his voice, they are only for effects! I'm really Impressed.
My favourite tracks on the album are - earthquake, vultures, express yourself and last time. The way he samples other tracks is also Brillant. He can recreate classic songs! I'm really excited to see what he can do next. I think you should buy is album because you won't be dissapointed. I would recommend it to any music fan Who wants to hear something different. Labrinth is such a raw talent!