ill Manors

Studio Album by released in 2012
ill Manors's tracklist:
ill Manors
I Am The Narrator
Drug Dealer
Playing With Fire
Deepest Shame
Pity The Plight
Lost My Way
The Runaway
Great Day For A Murder
Live Once
Falling Down

ill Manors review

Plan B Sabotage

Having won the right to hold Summer Olympic Games 2012, London made history as the first city ever to host this massive competition for the third time. While the British capital gave a magnificent welcome to the Games keeping its doors wide open to tourists from all over the world, one of its natives, Ben Drew, a famous rapper Plan B, released an album called iLL Manors. A harmless thing one would think, but this very record may be seen by some as a start of a sabotage campaign by the artist who decided to show the audience an unpleasant side of his city. London, shining and shimmering from TV screens, appears a harrowed place where all hopes are ruined and all human fates lie in ashes. This is the best time to say that the album’s tracks constitute the soundtrack to the eponymous film, Ben Drew’s director debut. The motion picture that has not had any big success so far, was a collection of takes from the life of a poor London suburb. The iLL Manors album is likely to liven up the interest to this film.

Horrors round the corner

iLL Manors starts off with the self-titled track which does not sound in the film. Yet the song uses efficiently a whole lot of depressive strings to turn into a perfect intro for a dismaying story that may only have a disastrous ending and you already feel it. I Am The Narrator spares no epithets to describe a horrifying world into which the listener is cast. Then, one by one come tales of slain lives. Their plots are separate and never cross each other, but the characters have one thing in common: each one is trapped in a worst situation and there seems to be no way out. Ben is not ashamed of using filthy words, but this is because it is filth he writes and sings about. The most shocking, in terms of stories and their naturalness, are Drug Dealer, and The Runaway. After these tracks it feels like the reality in which the narrator dwells is full of prostitutes, drug traffickers and all other dregs of society. Who made them like that? But Ben only prefers to present facts, keeping away from giving his opinion. iLL Manors is the most rapping album in the singer’s discography simply because in most of the tracks soul vocal parts are not acceptable. In a cold and cynical voice, he condemns each of the characters to endless sufferings.

Soundtrack is better than the movie

iLL Manors is all about pessimism. Even track Live Once with seemingly an optimistic call not to be afraid to follow one’s dreams is rather seen as a protest against the present circumstances. But this battle is going to be lost. Lost My Way, a powerful song with gospel vocal lines, heralds of loss of inner strength, of faith by all people. Deliberately slowed down, stripped of the energy and aggression of most of the previous tracks, the concluding Falling Down seems to mark the fall of hopes and spirit, an end to efforts to change anything. iLL Manors puts it clear that Ben Drew is not fighting for justice, call to revolution or preach. The album is valuable as a piece of art in the first place. The singer’s purpose is to give a description and fill it with emotions, but he dares not analyze anything or seek a solution. And this is another advantage to this record because this is why the album will not scare off listeners with imposed ideas, concepts or theories. Not being ideal in respect of music, iLL Manors attracts with the acuteness of its topics and thrilling stories. Plan B’s cinema future looks pretty vague, but on the music scene the man has already achieved a lot.

Alex Bartholomew (06.08.2012)
Rate review4.65
Total votes - 123


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