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Roll Deep - In At The Deep End


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 them.

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 more.

Track listing:
Disc: 1
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

Disc: 2
1. DVD "A Day In The Life Of Roll Deep" – 10 minute documentary
2. DVD Interviews with each crew member
3. DVD Photo gallery including all band members
4. DVD "When I’m Ere" video – normal and XXX versions
5. DVD Package will include poster of the crew

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