Chipmunk broke into the industry in a way which most mainstream British MCs can relate to. After hyping up the underground and being put on a pedestal by the scene's most respected figures (Wiley, in this case) Chipmunk was signed and thrust into the spotlight. A Pop-orientated first album solidified his position in the game as a superficial hit-maker, but his second hoped to show that he does actually have substance. With "Transition", as its title indicates, the Tottenham rapper was now of drinking age, so had a desire to shape his career as he felt it deserved. The question, however, was whether it would be a smooth progression.
If you think you thought you were going to get the same rapper as on "I Am Chipmunk", you'll probably be disappointed. No longer attempting to appeal to the younger crowds, he makes the move into being a wordplay specialist. From the opening title track, through to some of the album's later tunes, he sprinkles the music with witty rhymes, to show why he was rated so highly in his younger years. It works and it gives it more lasting appeal than his past work. In addition to this, he comes equipped with a far more slick style and one which gels well with the varied list of collaborators. Whether it's Trey Songz, Mavado or Chris Brown giving him a helping hand, it shows that he's grown into the artist he wants to be and seems comfortable as.
Just because he's righted some of his past wrongs isn't to say it's all as solid as it could potentially be. The track with Keri Hilson, for instance, seems redundant when compared to the one he does with Trey Songz. Elsewhere, "Flying High" feel as though he's getting a little over-confident in his rhyming abilities for a moment, but it's rectified when he joins forced with Wretch and the two contribute a highly competitive back-to-back tune. On top of this, "Picture Me" sounds as though it simply doesn't belong on the album and would have been on it if he was to make an "I Am Chipmunk" (Vol. 2), rather than one aiming to advance what he's done in the past.
Coming as a surprise to many, the album is a far more substantial release than many would have expected of him. As he completely abandoned his roots to deliver a record with nothing but selling potential the first time around, it comes across as though he's actually trying on this one. Although it isn't 100% successful, at least it shows that he can detach himself from his work as a youngster and doesn't have to remain as an industry puppet. A few of the collaborations seem forced and he does get ahead of himself with a few of his brags, but it's a decent album and one which has a lot more replay value than anything he's put out prior.