Review: Jack Foley
ROLL Deep, the East London crew behind Dizzee Rascal and Wiley,
finally deliver a debut album of their own - one which is guaranteed
to raise as many eyebrows as smiles.
Having already impressed anyone who heard their white label EP,
Let It Out, the 13-man collective are now winning plenty
of friends for their debut single, The Avenue, which
mixes The Maisonettes' Heartache Avenue with the 'grime' sound
more usually associated with the East London music scene.
So while there's plenty of fast-talking rap from the likes of
Flow Dan, Breeze, Riko, Trim, Brazen, Jet Le and Scratchy, there's
also plenty of sampling, scratching and grooe-laden melody-making
to lighten things up a bit.
The Avenue, especially, is a cracker that's sure to
become one of the alternative hits of the summer, thanks to the
stark contrast of the cheesy sample and Deep MC's rap.
Indeed, when Relentless Records heard the track for the first
time, the label which gave a home to Joss Stone knew right away
that it had a new hit-making team on its hands and promptly signed
The rest of the album can be split into two halves. The first,
a breezy collection of mainstream viable crossover tunes that
follow The Avenue's format; the other, a more grime-based
collection of raps that reflect the sound of the streets they
were written about.
Tracks such as Heat Up and When I'm Here fall
into the latter category, emerging with the type of sound that
is more associated with Dizzee Rascal, Roots Manuva and co, albeit
with a strictly British slant on the word-play.
While the likes of Bus Stop and Flying Away
fall into The Avenue's category, emerging as a new urban
sound that's certain to turn heads.
Bus Stop, especially, sets some urgent rapping around
a Seventies dancefloor groove, while Flying Away contains
some wonderfully laidback guitar riffs and adds some soulful vocals
that toss in elements of RnB.
It's this eclectic mixture of styles, in particular, that helps
In At The Deep End to emerge from the shadows of most street-based
albums with such credit; maintaining the credibility of its East
End roots, while appealing to a much wider audience into the bargain.
And with a track as smooth as Good Girl to round things
off, it's virtually guaranteed to leave most new listeners wanting
1. Flying Away
2. The Avenue
3. Show You featuring Jenna G
4. Let It Out
5. Bus Stop
6. Be Careful featuring Alex Cartana
7. When I’ Ere
8. Shake A Leg
9. Remember The Day
10. People Don’t Know
11. Heat Up
12. Good Girl
1. DVD "A Day In The Life Of Roll Deep" – 10 minute
2. DVD Interviews with each crew member
3. DVD Photo gallery including all band members
4. DVD "When I’m Ere" video – normal and
5. DVD Package will include poster of the crew