Lethal Bizzle - Go Hard

After playing the NME stage at this year's Leeds and Reading Festivals, it would be cheap to label Lethal Bizzle as the acceptable face of grime, a modern MC with a crossover appeal beyond the inner cities to the leafy suburbs. Compared to his contemporary Dizzee Rascal, Lethal has not chased the pop market to such an extent, although Go Hard features input from Mark Ronson on 'Lost My Mind', a dropped-tempo affair with an annoying fiddle refrain that is thankfully erased by 'Skullz On My Hoodie', a jerky slice of daft bragging with tongue firmly in cheek: "I am Lenny Kravitz but I don't eat no caviar!"

This is his third album and the first on Search & Destroy, the home to Fightstar and In Case of Fire, clearly indicating where the marketing men see his career developing. The whole 'grindie' thing is emphasised with another collaboration with hardcore outfit Gallows after their team up on 'Staring At The Rude Boys'. They pile in to throw some guitars onto the very Jay-Z-like 'Rockstar', but it doesn't do much that the contributors to the Judgment Night soundtrack didn't do back in (gulp) 1993.

Long time fans will appreciate the autobiographical 'Push It' and the album's best moments are those when Bizzle plays to his strengths: hard beats topped with his trademark delivery, although the download-only version of House of Pain's 'Jump Around' is perhaps his best chance of radio play.



out of 10

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