We headed down to the esteemed May Fair Hotel this week to grab a sneak peek of Angel‘s highly anticipated debut album, About Time…
With a host of well-known faces in attendance, including Fazer (N Dubz), JLS’ Oritse, Stooshe, Wretch 32 and many many more, all eyes were on Angel to deliver a body of work to rival the success of recent singles Wonderful and Time After Time.
Photo credit: Paul Hampartsoumian
The listening session took place in the Theatre and Screening room of the venue, so we headed down to take our seats, grabbed some popcorn and sat back to listen to the new album in its entirety.
Opening up with 1st Seven O’Ten, featuring George The Poet, the album gets off to a promising start. As it continues to build momentum, the album picks up pace with the sounds of Blown Away (featuring Wiz Kid) and continues to offer up something for the party-goers with soon-to-be hits Victory, More Fire and Vegas.
Notable cuts to look out for include; 1st Seven O’Ten and Fourteen Four 13′ (which both feature George The Poet), Secrets (featuring an impressive verse from Mr. Wretch 32) and More Fire (starring the delighful tones of up-and-comer Shakka).
Sonically, About Time offers a great balance and does well to appeal to a wider audience. Despite this, its greatest fault lies in the lack of clear narrative which is often found missing throughout the album. About Time is more of a collection of hits, than a traditional body of work. Nonetheless, for a debut album, it boasts promise which more than overshadows its blemishes.
In previous years the UK has had the pleasure of welcoming through a host of talent from the urban realm through to the epicentre of the commercial world, but the world of British RnB has been somewhat less fortunate, with the careers of many being short-lived and limited to the success of one or two Top 40 singles at very best. With an amazing team behind him and an undeniable work-rate, Angel has managed to maintain and secure his position in the market, while establishing himself as a key player in the current resurrection of RnB on the world stage.
About Time signals not only the beginnings of a promising journey for Angel, but the birth of a new-wave of more honest commercial British RnB, signalled in part by the success of the likes of The Weeknd, Miguel and Frank Ocean stateside, but one which hints toward a bright future for homegrown music in the UK.
About Time is released this coming Monday, April 15th.
Pre-order the album here via iTunes.
Review by Ash Houghton