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Sincere - MJ Cole

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2 Reviews

Genre: Dance & Electronic - House & Garage / Artist: MJ Cole / Audio CD released 2000-08-07 at Talkin Loud

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    2 Reviews
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      07.05.2001 21:32
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      Skilful, smooth, soulful sounds, electronica and synthesised strings blend with rough, cut-up two-step beats. Luxurious, sexy female vocals alternate with rudeboy MCing. The classically-trained garage pioneer MJ Cole's long-awaited debut album is finally here, and displays a lush sound that he will doubtless be able to explore for a long time. It blends classy instrumentation and upmarket production with an underground sound, and when it's good, it's very, very good. While garage has its roots in a true underground culture, it's a genre which embraces mainstream crossover, slick production and smooth-as-a-brand-new-BMW tunes more than many others; you're unlikely to hear many accusations Cole is 'selling out', despite the classy sleeve and Mercury Music Prize nomination. However, there are parts of this album where the listening becomes too easy, and the glossy, dreamy instrumentation sounds like wallpaper music or the incidental sections of a film soundtrack. Other tracks, like the title track, 'Bandelero Desperado' and 'You're Mine' are just stunning. Garage is the sound of summer 2000, whether you like it or not, and 'Sincere' is already one of the most important albums of the year.

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        25.04.2001 20:56
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        'Sincere' promised to be UK garage's first and greatest longplayer, but ultimately fell short of its expectations. It was neither the commercial nor critical success which many people expected of it, yet there is much on this album that make it worth investigating. The inspirational moments on this album rank it among some of the best dance albums in the past few years, the singles 'Crazy Love' and 'Sincere' still glitter with the energy that they had when they were first released as singles, melting a smooth r'n'b style, with polished garage flourishes. These tracks work well on the dancefloor and equally well for home listening, but this desire to make a cohesive album that can be listened to at home makes 'Sincere' veer far too close to coffee table fodder at times. It is on the raw energy of track like 'MJ F.M. Interlude' that the album really hits its stride, with M.C. Slam King giving shout outs to his mates and the UK Garage underground, and this makes for truly inspirational listeneing and encapsulates everything that the scene is about. Unfortunately Matt Coleman (M.J. Cole), tries to use his classical musicianship too much and this means that the last 1/3 of the album is instantly forgettable, musically excellent. Last single 'Hold On' couldn't even be picked out of a line-up by its own mother, and so it was never really going to make an impact on the charts. This album is excellent in part, but lacks tunes in its slower moments and one can't help thinking that musicianship and slick production could have been toned down in favour of a rawer and more energetic album. However, it shows great promise and fans of UK garage should definitely consider 'Sincere' for its genre defining moments. However, if you are more intrigued by the genre and are just checking it out for the first time, try the Wookie LP instead.

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    • Product Details

      Disc #1 Tracklisting
      1 Introduction
      2 Tired Games
      3 Attitude
      4 Bandelero Desperado
      5 MJ FM Interlude
      6 Crazy Love
      7 You're Mine
      8 Sanctuary
      9 I See
      10 Sincere
      11 Strung out
      12 Rough Out Here
      13 Slum King
      14 Radio Interlude
      15 Hold On To Me
      16 Free My Mind