Hot off the back of early album releases like ‘Stronger Than Ever‘, ‘Bloodsport’, ‘Keep It Simple’ and ‘Never Better‘, Raleigh brings you his debut album – out February 26th.
Last week we managed to hear the album in full with Raleigh at Dean Street Studios and were able to soak in the album that Raleigh’s been working on for the past 18 months in it’s entirety.
Tracklist as follows:
‘Werld Is Mine’ – Justin Broad
‘Stronger Than Ever’ – Chris Loco
‘Bloodsport’ – Justin Broad
‘I Can Change’ – Sunny/Mike Spencer
‘Keep It Simple’ – Mike Elizondo
‘The Greatest’ – Justin Broad and Paul Herman
‘Never Better’ – Justin Broad and Paul Herman
‘Cowards’ – Chris Loco
‘A Moor’ – Utters
‘Young And Stupid’ – Sounwave
‘You’re A Man Now, Boy’ – Justin Broad and Paul Herman
‘The Last Romance’ – Justin Broad
With only one official feature on the album being Stormzy as well as a brief Etta Bond feature (you’ll see why we say brief very soon) it’s a project that really allows you to delve into the mind of young Raleigh. Ever the personal and not one to hold back, Raleigh gives an insight into his personal life, past friendships, lovers and life as a young twenty something.
It’s easy to forget just how strong the lead tracks from the album are. Whenever songs have been released in the run up to an album release I always seem to listen to an album whilst skipping and overlooking the previously releases singles. Sitting and listening through the album in it’s entirety really puts things into perspective and you realise just how strong the project is as a whole.
Working with Justin Broad and Paul Herman for a large section of the album allows for a seriously cohesive sound that floats between elements of funk, string sections, punchy up tempo choruses and emotive movie esq soundscapes.
Fan favourites like the crowd jumping nostalgia revelling ‘The Greatest‘ and the closing track ‘The Last Romance‘ show the versatility of Raleigh as an artist. This point further emphasised by the fact that Grime MC’s like Stormzy are willing to feature on his album and deliver a verse that sees the Grime MC himself rap about watching Friends with his girlfriend – amazing.
Other production highlights from the album include the DJ Dahi assisted ‘Young And Stupid‘. DJ Dahi, the mad behind a large selection of TDE and Kendrick hits and the man behind Drake’s ‘Worst Behaviour‘ deliver’s some signature production that brings that ‘Section 80‘ Kendrick vibe and mashes it with ‘Worst Behaviour’ allowing Raleigh to drop his vocals to top it off. It works to perfection and was a personal favourite of mine from the session.
Introducing us into the world of falsetto on one or two of the tracks, Raleigh teases his inner Timberlake and it adds another string to the Ritchie bow of musicality. Pushing himself musically, this album will definitely win you over as a fan if you weren’t already. With tracks to appeal to almost everyone whilst remaining cohesive throughout Raleigh delivers one of the stand out albums of 2016 for me and sees him grow from a boy to a man. It’s fun, it’s honest, it’s emotive and it captures the mindset of many a twenty-something ‘adult’ in 2016. It certainly struck a chord with me.