1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Best Album of 2010,
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This review is from: The Defamation Of Strickland Banks (MP3 Download)
I bought this not really knowing what to expect. I tend to really only listen to music on my Ipod in the gym and have not listened to much else since I bought this six weeks ago.
It is a concept album, where Plan B tells the fictional story of Strickland Banks, a soul singer who is wrongly imprisoned for a crime- I think it must be murder because he describes a fella getting hurt, but the crime is never explicitly referred to.
The album is basically Northern Soul type music with some rap and ballad thrown in.
It is without doubt absolutely phenomenal. It is true to say that there is not a bad track on the album.
It opens with the up tempo 'Love Goes Down' and 'Writings on the Wall'. The highlight for me though is 'Stay Too Long' which basically is about how he stays too long at parties and then gets into his spots of bother. It is such a driving tune, that then hits you with some short spells of aggressive rap. This may not be a great sounding description, but trust me, it works. It did well in the charts in its sanitised version but this is better.
'She Said', the fourth song on the album was the other big hit in the charts.
I particularly like a track called 'The Recluse' which tells the story of when 'Strickland Banks' was imprisoned and was too frightened to come out of his cell. This track in particular makes amazing use of strings.
If there is a fault with the album it is that it could have done to have been longer to properly explain the story, but apparently there is a reason for this.
Plan B - real name Ben Drew- originally started his published music career with a hard rap album called 'Who Needs Actions When You Have Got Words'. This current album was therefore a total change in direction for him. He had wanted to release this album as a two parter, with the second part returning to his rapping roots and filling out the story. However, it is widely reported that his record company would not release the rap part of the album as they think it is not commercially viable. It is therefore being released by his own label; it is hoped this year.
Some people have ridiculously suggested Plan B has somehow 'sold out' with this album. What a load of tosh. The man has written all of these tracks and his voice is an absolute match for this style of music. Many so called music stars would kill for this talent. The Guardian reported he had said this was the best soul album he could make, so he probably would not do another but maybe move onto punk. I'll be interested to hear that, but Plan B- please at some stage do another soul album, it would be a tragic waste for such a talent never to visit this genre again!