After much anticipation and a simple, yet well thought out promotion campaign, Stormzy has finally dropped his debut album we’ve all been waiting for, Gang Signs & Prayers (GSAP). Coming in hot with First Things First, Cold & Bad Boys, we get a taste of that classic Stormzy grime/jungle/hip hop sort of sound and keeping it real with some English bars, name dropping ‘DSTRKT’ nightclub and ‘Narcos’ the hit Netflix series. Then beautiful gospel track Blinded By Your Grace really mixes things up and pulls you into a sound very unfamiliar to Stormzy fans, breaking it down into a real gentle Slow Jams vibe. Who knew Stormzy could sing hey?!
Unfortunately, from here the album gets a little muddled up. We would never hate on a debut album to the point of deterring the listener away from it because too much time, love and passion has gone into it to just cast it by the roadside. However, this record is not very eclectic and is probably too long, particularly for a debut album, almost as if he had too many original ideas and wanted to showcase his broad skill set. With that comes a confused record, with an almost one on, one off tracklist of the ‘Stormzy’ and R&B/Slow jams sounds previously mentioned.
We’re also not sure using convicted murderer Crazy Titch for a self promotion interlude was a good idea either? Maybe there’s more to the story than that, but it would take some explanation to justify that fact.
However, with that being said, we’re absolutely loving the passion in this album, although it’s true that it’s carried through by a handful of tracks, such as Big For Your Boots, Shut Up, Mr Skeng and First Things First, they’re so strong we find it very hard to argue against this record. Whilst GSAP might not follow one trend, there are so many bangers on here! If it was condensed down a little, it would be a straight up classic. More Life to you Stormzy. Give it a listen for yourself and let us know what you think, like, comment, share.
Favourite tune: Big for Your Boots, he’s got it right on so many levels
Artwork: Looking almost like an urban last supper, it definitely makes a statement.
Rating: 7.5/10, elements of a 9, but it’s too broad for us.