Boomkat Product Review:
In contrast to Dizzee's quite exuberant "Maths & English", Wiley's long awaited new album is a much more low-key affair : there are no celebrity contributions, no playful stylistic departures, and the title and artwork depict a sombre Wiley stood deserted in an empty playground in deep winter, surrounded by discarded toys painted black with an almost mournful expression on his face - even the cd body itself is covered in a thick, shiny black Lacquer.
Open up the cd booklet, though, and you soon discover the back page has an alternate take : the playground suddenly drenched in colour, symbolising the opposing forces of darkness, light, hope and despair. These opposing forces also dictate the pace and direction of the album, with the crushing metallic percussion of the immense "Flyboy" at one end of the spectrum, and the sunshine-drenched "Baby Girl" at the other. It doesn't take much foresight to guess which of these two works best - and the album as a whole hits its highs when Wiley keeps to a decidedly robust, uncompromising agenda.