So it’s been just over a week since the Brit Awards 2017, and I must say I was slightly disappointed with the lack of ‘pizzazz’ this year. The ‘most anticipated’ performance of the night was a dreadful collaboration between Coldplay and Chainsmokers at which point I think everyone sort of went ‘eh?’ The whole show just a bit…boring (which is why I think the awards season Gods were looking down and thinking ‘let’s shake this up a bit’…cue The Oscars and ENVELOPEGATE)
Anyway, besides a bit of a bland Brit Awards, one man who fared very well picking up both Critics’ Choice and Breakthrough Artist was Rory Graham aka Rag’n’Bone Man. The much anticipated album Human was released at the start of February. Now, this album is definitely carried by the vocals, Graham’s rugged bluesy tones are what’s excited critics across the UK and’Die Easy’ – an a capella track proves this. The track doesn’t seem out of place on the album and it wasn’t really until I picked up my laptop to write this piece that I realised that I couldn’t pin point any of the instrumentals on the album – and that is not a bad thing! It just reinforces how fantastic Graham’s vocals are.
When I first heard title track ‘Human’ I was so excited by the moodiness that it exudes. The way the lyrics are delivered are full of angst – the bridge to chorus reflects the calm before the storm. Lyrics “don’t put your blame on me” are almost murmured before launching into the powerful chorus fuelled by exasperation.
As soon as I listened to this album I was reminded of James Bay and Jack Garratt – two artists that won the Brits Critcs’ Choice award in 2015 and 2016. When I heard Graham’s track ‘Arrow’, I immediately paired it with Bay’s ‘Craving.’ So obviously solo males led by vocals are whats ticking the boxes at the minute.
To sum up, this album is great, it’s inspired by so many genres, blues, hip hop, garage – Grahams’ vocals are powerful yet not strained. He’s effortlessly cool and this is reflected in every track on the album.