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Pound Sterling: The Warm Up Mix Tape

Pound Sterling, The Warm Up Mix Tape

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 2 out of 5

UNDERGROUND UK rapper Pound Sterling returns from a two-year hiatus with a free download to whet the appetite ahead of his 2010 album.

The Mix Tape is described as Pound Sterling’s initiation back into the music world, and includes accounts of lavish living, melancholy memories and ‘odes’ to the female form.

Sadly, it’s a largely generic rap album that falls into the pitfalls of most mainstream creations of the moment – namely, an over-emphasis on consumerism, celebrity, sex and attitude.

The first two offerings, in particular, are just bragging tracks in which Pound Sterling proclaims himself “a hustler”. Club banger Fresh drops the kind of high-energy urban synth backdrop that helped 50 Cent’s In Da Club such a massive hit.

But throughout, the album adheres to a strict formula and it’s mostly derivative.

Pound Sterling, for his part, deserves some credit for putting together a free mix that stretches to 15 tracks. And he has his own identity, by virtue of some of the more personal observations that have arisen from his south London roots.

But musically, he draws from the usual suspects, with 50 Cent and Timbaland prime examples, as well as the need to collaborate to freshen up the rap sound and broaden its appeal across genre.

Of the tracks worth paying attention to, For Life features a catchy sung chorus from Miss Jaie, and Don’t Know combines rap and R’n‘B infused pop well.

Talk of the Town drops a funky musical background and reminded me of American Gangster era Jay-Z… likewise The Pick Up, and Baby benefits from some cool brass stabs (even though the lyrics leave a lot to be desired).

But while there are highlights, the overall effect is pretty unmemorable and is best reserved for Pound Sterling and urban rap purists only!

Download picks: The Pick Up, Baby, For Life, Don’t Know

Track listing:

  1. Disclaimer
  2. I’m A Hustler Baby
  3. Fresh
  4. Road Signs
  5. For Life
  6. Told You [Freestyle]
  7. London Hustle
  8. Pop Champagne [Freestyle]
  9. Don’t Know
  10. Talk of the Town [Freestyle]
  11. The Pick Up
  12. Baby [Freestyle]
  13. Ask Your Ting (Young A)
  14. Let Me Show You Something
  15. Westwood Freestyle