2009 album from the Ghanaian born and East London based Grime/Hip Hop star. Catch 22 is a milestone in Tinchy Stryders ascending career. A move on from the sound of 2007s Star In The Hood, Catch 22 sees Tinchy working with a diverse range of producers (from. Fraser T Smith to Frank Musik) and guest vocalists (from Taio Cruz to Amelle) to create a signature sound that is not only fresh and current, but is also uniquely his. Lyrically the album focuses on Tinchys day-to-day tales from his hood in bow, and his ever changing life as a rising star in the music industry. Spanning the shiny and radio friendly `Number 1 and `Never Leave Me through to the gritty and bassline heavy, `Stryderman and `Spotlight, Catch 22 seamlessly balances universal appeal with street credibility. Island.
Though touted as his first album, Catch 22
is in fact 22-year-old Tinchy Stryder’s sophomore effort. He released his debut Star In The Hood
back in 2007, though he’d probably be the first to admit that he was a different person then. In the last two years he’s shifted from underground sensation to chart-bothering pop star, bombarding the radio on a regular basis with pop-savvy grime tunes. While The Streets and Dizzee Rascal may have made grime a mainstream concern ages ago, Tinchy offers an unashamedly commercial take on the genre that even these well known stars lack. Hits like "Number 1" (with N-Dubz), "Take Me Back" and "Never Leave You" sit next to equally infectious tracks like "You’re Not Alone" (which borrows from Olive’s 1996 hit of the same name), "Spotlight"(which borrows the swirling riffs from Timo Maas’ remix of Azzido Da Bass's "Doom's Night")--even a Chase and Status produced version of NWA’s "Express Yourself". Its 18 cuts definitely make it a bit long, and Stryder’s consistent insouciance ultimately creates an aura of superficiality; but all in all Catch 22
is the confident, upbeat sound of another bonafide pop star breaking outta London’s streets. --Danny McKenna