Roots Manuva - 4everevolution
With the release of his fifth studio album (if we discount various remix and dub records), surely Roots Manuva deserves to be crowned an elder statesman of UK hip-hop? Like many of his previous LPs, 4everevolution is somewhat sprawling and overlong, a result perhaps of juggling so many genres and influences; hip-hop, reggae, dubstep and funk are all covered. ‘In The Throes Of It’, I'm guessing the Skunk Anansie collaboration, takes a less expected rockier direction.
Lyrical concerns jump from the overtly political through harsh social commentary (not for him to glamourise the gangsta lifestyle) to the more hedonistic. Falling into the latter category, recent single 'Watch Me Dance' is the best thing here; even if it's trumped by the sparkier version on Toddla T’s recent LP. There’s the occasional reminder in phrase and authoritative delivery as to why Roots Manuva is an underappreciated national treasure, but the lack of focus and editing makes 4everevolution a frustrating experience overall.