Rudimental - Home
Record Label: Warner Music
Release Date: August 6, 2013
Whilst British dance music isn’t typically a genre that strikes a chord with many outside the dancefloors of certain demographics, 2013 seems to be the year that it jumps into the mainstream. With bands like Bastille, AlunaGeorge and Disclosure winning hearts in the last twelve months, Rudimental are the next group waiting for their time in the spotlight. The quartet hailing from Hackney, London have already won over the British audience, with Home hitting number one on the UK charts earlier this year and now it's time for the band to bring their pop tinged drum ‘n’ bass to US shores.
It would be easy to heap unwarranted praise on Rudimental’s debut. When compared to bands like Swedish House Mafia etc., Rudimental sound like geniuses. Home is a refreshing break from identikit dance groups selling the same song over and over to teenagers and trading solely off the fact that their listeners associate their music with that night that they did those things. Throughout the 12 tracks on here, it’s clear that Rudimental want to shake things up and have put effort into the album. Songs like the massive “Feel The Love”, featuring a vocal performance from John Newman, and recent single “Right Here” are so much better than the music Rudimental has to contend with. “Feel The Love” is a memorable, uplifting, singalong inspirer. Newman’s vocals are distinct and whilst simple, the dubstep meets drum ‘n’ bass vibe perfectly balances itself out, never becoming boring or too repetitive. “Right Here” is similarly good. Foxes’ smooth vocals sound like the midpoint of Emelie Sandé and one of the many good old fashioned R’n’B stars of the early noughties. Tinged with light melancholy and a ridiculously likeable beat, it’s only a matter of time before the track explodes on both sides of the Atlantic. However, despite these two tracks both being excellent, they sound like they were created by a completely different artist and that is where Rudimental trip up.
This record is filled with highlights, the Emilie Sandé led “Free” and Angel Haze’s spitfire rapping on “Hell Could Freeze” being two particular choices, however they also sound nothing like the aforementioned songs. Rudimental’s missteps are minimal but Home is so mix and match that it seems like these four young men would be excellent at putting a compilation together rather than a cohesive album. Every guest on the album is talented, no beat on the record is sloppy or repetitive and the band flow in and out of different genres without ease but it feels like they’re trying so hard to cater to the mainstream audience and as many people as possible that they’ve actually forgotten that some people will sit down and listen to the album through, sequentially. Whilst its hard to criticise Rudimental for being too eclectic when they come from a scene notorious for repetition, it drags the album down too much to be glanced over.
Overall, Rudimental have shown themselves to be a talented band of men. This album would be the perfect soundtrack to some laid back summer parties and, without a doubt, they are on the way to becoming global chart-toppers. It’ll be interesting to see where album number two brings them and if they hope to not get stuck playing bills with the cookie-cutter dance acts of recent years, it’s time for Rudimental to work out exactly who they want to be.