Kano- London Town

August 23rd, 2007

If Kano’s recent mix CD was a hint that the artist was moving further away from the typical Grime sound, his second album ‘London Town’ is the full blown announcement. Whilst still of a more original flava to traditional UK Hiphop vibes, the LP is far from what you’ll remember Kano performing on older records and DVD’s such as ‘Lord Of The Mics’.

Here, there’s record company marketting written all over the product, from a collaboration with Damon Albarn to the painfully obvious appearance of Kate Nash. Yet, there’s some remarkable moments amongst the fairly up and down release, showcasing why K to the A was ever loved in the first place, and why most reviews and fan reactions will be similar to these hit and miss reflections.

A familiar track to die hard Grime heads for a while now, the clear stand out track has to be ‘Buss It Up’ featuring Vybz Kartel. The tempo’s fast, the beat’s gully and Kano drops some of the tightest delivered bars the Uk’s heard for some time. It demands instant playback and is perfect for the headphones, car or jam. Another high point is ‘Over And Over’ for it’s simple but dark and atmospheric beat which the poster boy MC effortlessly layers with smooth, introspective thoughts.

Whilst it’s nice to see Kane do something a little different on ‘Fightin’ The Nation’, you can’t help but feel that his powers that be demanded he try something ‘a little more Plan B’. Then there’s ‘This Is The Girl’, reincarnating the plague that is Craig David. Whilst it’ll be catchy to a few dreamy 13 year olds on the back of a school bus on White Hart Lane, it’s not going to sit well with the corny cautious males whom make up about 98% of the Grime community. The beat may as well have sampled McFly for it’s lack of effort in hiding the desperate radio attack that it is.

In short, ‘London Town’ is great if you’re an Observer subscriber and like to think you’re cool by keeping your big toe in the pond that is popular culture, but the seasoned Grime head will have a lot to feel uncomfortable able, if not for the LP’s sequence which is very sporadic in continuity, for the the frustration at the few glimpses of Kano’s natural ability which he doesn’t seem to want to project as loud as it deserves to be.