Saturday, March 11, 2023

One of The UK’s Most Authentic Artists Slowthai Releases His New Album, ‘UGLY’

Known for his unique style, raw voice and aggressive energy, Slowthai comes back with a bang in his third studio album, ‘UGLY’.

The release of ‘UGLY’ follows the release of two popular singles from the album, ‘I Know Nothing’ and ‘Selfish’. Slowthai has taken a new approach to this album, with a new style that seems to lean towards post/dance-punk production that suits his harsh voice perfectly.

The artist opens the album with the glitchy track ‘Yum’, talking about his aggressive behaviors and bad habits. It is apparent that Slowthai utilises this track to hint at the main topic of the whole album. However, after the third track, the album takes a break on despairful lyrics and the post-punk production, and refreshes the listener with the joyful, groovy dance-punk single ‘Feel Good’. 

In the sixth track ‘Fuck It Puppet’, Slowthai raps about his conversation with a puppet, creating a very interesting and unique track. In this rageful song, Slowthai both proves his rapping and artistic skills as his creativeness and story-telling abilities truly show themselves throughout this track. 

With the seventh track, ‘HAPPY’, Slowthai changes his message in what seems like a more positive way and sings poetically about happiness. However, with lyrics like “Love’s a shield, my armour's hope / You made the good times feel like swingin’ from a rope” it is clear that his thoughts on happiness are more cryptic, encouraging the listener to question why he speaks of love using such harsh imagery.

For the self-titled track ‘UGLY’, Slowthai both raps in spoken word style and sings for the chorus, repeatedly spelling out the word U-G-L-Y. This track gives more of a shoegaze vibe and, with synth effects, it comes out as a rather magical track, possibly the sincerest track of the album. In the next track ‘Falling’, the artist starts the song by repeating the questions: “You ever feel like fallin'? / You ever feel like you're driftin' away?".

While asking these questions the track stays rather calm, but there are sharp guitar tones combined with harrowing vocals throughout. In the second verse, Slowthai answers his questions in a more broken and angry way, and at one point he starts screaming rather than singing. Matching the vibe of the lyrics and production in this track in a perfect way, Slowthai creates a very special song and narrates his alienation from the world.

For the tenth track ‘Wotz Funny’ Slowthai tells us the struggles of a different upbringing and repeats the sentence: “What’s funny?” indicating the seriousness of this issue. And finally, in the closing track ‘25% Club’, the artist goes with a different instrumental choice - an acoustic guitar - and talks on how he believes that we will never be complete in life. Slowthai dwells on the idea that nobody ever will find the missing piece in their life and closes the album with a beautiful, but woeful track. 

Slowthai once again does not disappoint his fans, creating a brilliant and very distinctive album while maintaing the aggressive style of rap he is most known for. With this album Slowthai puts his name up as a contender for album of the year.

Image: ‘UGLY’ Official Album Cover

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