Sunday, 12 April 2009

Newham Generals - Generally Speaking Review

'It apparently took three years to make, but much of this debut album from Dizzee Rascal's proteges sounds as though it's been tossed off in the last three minutes.'

Everyone is entitled to their opinions, but the egalitarian might of that maxim is mightily challenged by the Guardian's Paul MacInnes. I'm just happy that the album is finally here and, even after the heavy delay and an inevitable anti-climax, 'Generally Speaking' is still a very good release.

Just Movin' is the perfect start. The beat is brilliantly bold, with an opening that tingles your ears before the big biss drop. Chrome's vocals provide a loose hook, but it doesn't deter from the energy of Footsie and DEE, and the quick pace of them going back to back on the mic that makes for an uncompromising start.

The composition of the album is one of it's great strengths. Head Get Mangled picks up the baton and races away further still, with the speed complemented by DEE's hazy delivery. A slower Footsie solo, Dat's Normal, is next, which is followed by DEE's Supadupe. The way the two are juggled throughout is masterful and, as a result, both the individual qualities of the MCs as well as their clout as a collective are emphasised. Features from G-Man and Dizzee on Violence, after a united and revolving DEE and Footsie at the start, rounds everything off.

Even with the newer dancey tracks, which includes one of the highlights in Mind Is A Gun, Monkstarr gives a glimse of the Generals's past with a fitting inclusion on the album. With a wealth of older material to choose from, Things I Do slots in well, and Chrome's wistful vocals contrast to the in-your-face Bell Dem Slags. Dat's Normal had great nostalgic value, and suits the album better than the more recent solo It's Foots.

While there are high-points, Douchebag and Heard You Been Smoking don't have any star-quality, but again the way the album has been put together doesn't allow them to compromise the general tone and flow. Both songs are very short and the album, even with the bonus tracks, does seem to be over too quickly.

Some more tracks would have been nice, but this is far from a 'tossed off' CD. Generally Speaking is one of the best grime releases ever.

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I.M.O.W and The City said...

still need to hear this fully and make my own review (in my mind lol)
i hope its as good as you say ...:)

fullygrown said...

ha ha

Well others are telling me that I was a bit over the top, but I'm a very big Generals fan and I really liked this.

Each to their own eh...

james d said...

After one listen through, I had mixed thoughts.

But I respect your opinion, so I'm gonna give it some more spins ... see if it grows on me.

Anonymous said...

I think Newham Generals are one of the best grime acts there is. That said I don't rate their album. Maybe I had too high expectations... but it don't give me the energy and the flow that watching them on youtube does. Maybe it'll grow but usually if I hear an amazing album it's amazing 1st time and every time after. Sorry NG keep grinding

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