- Audio CD (12 April 2010)
- Deluxe Edition edition
- Number of Discs: 2
- Format: Deluxe Edition
- Label: Atlantic
- ASIN: B0039NM6RA
- Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 23,683 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
The Defamation of Strickland Banks [Deluxe Edition] Deluxe Edition
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Arriving straight after his fantastic top 10 hit "End Credits" with Chase & Status and impressing Michael Caine with his acting chops in acclaimed British thriller Harry Brown, Plan B AKA 24 Year old Londoner Ben Drew is ready to release what is becoming one of the most anticipated albums of the year.
Produced by Paul Epworth, the studio genius behind recent hits by Florence & the Machine, The Big Pink and Friendly Fires, The Defamation of Strickland Banks is the sound of Motown, Stax and Northern soul, filtered through the grit of contemporary East London.
The Defamation Of Strickland Banks, the second LP from Forest Gate-bred singer/musician Ben Drew, will be a surprise for anyone who spent meaningful time with his 2006 debut Who Needs Actions When You’ve Got Words. That album cast him as a potty-mouthed rapper, threatening to stab you with a biro over choppy acoustic guitar. Now, following a quick makeover, he re-emerges as blue-eyed soul singer, fronting a suite of bittersweet love songs steeped in vintage Stax and Motown. What might seem a rushed rebranding makes more sense if you know a little about Drew's creative drive, though; obsessed with cinema and narrative, Plan B is a storyteller at heart, and …Strickland Banks' songs trace a tale through the London underworld, Drew playing a soul singer from the East End jailed for a crime he didn’t commit. It's a concept that works, thanks largely to Drew’s voice--surprisingly strong, and more than capable of handling everything from upbeat Northern soul to fraught numbers like "Welcome To Hell". The narrative never overwhelms the quality of the songs, though, and for anyone disappointed such an impressively angry man has gone a bit Paolo Nutini on us, there's the occasional rap delivered with anger more savage for its infrequent deployment. –-Louis Pattison
Top customer reviews
And finally, after what, five years? the new album is out. And it's amazing! Ben Drew's voice is just so good. Comparisons are never good, but Smokey Robinson is as good a touchstone as any. The songs are heart-achingly melodic, with thoughtful, well-constructed lyrics that build up, song by song, into a concept album as visual as any film. And some of these sweet soul songs have no rap at all - and they are sublime.
Some people don't seem to like it when an artist switches genres. Neil Young's has had detractors throughout his shifting career. Dylan was panned for going electric; Waits for dropping an octave; DJ Shadow for embracing rap. Ignore the doubters. Plan B's album is superb by any standards, and tracks like Writing's on the Wall, Prayin' and the Recluse offering sound proof that the man doesn't need to do only rap.
I've read that Plan B is planning on experimenting with other genres. This time round, he's produced soul worthy of Atlantic, Stax or Motown - in fact, at times, listening to Strickland Banks is like listening to some of those lost gems from the Cellarful of Motown albums. Wonderful! Next time round, given his great voice - think John Holt, Derrick Morgan, Desmond Dekker - maybe he should tackle Trojan ska. Verses is half way there. Rocksteady rap. A new genre. On the evidence of the superb Defamation of Strickland Banks, if anyone can make it work, it's Plan B.
And by the way, fork out the couple of extra quid for the deluxe edition. The live versions and mixes are well worth it.
If you are a Tamla Motown/ Northern Soul fan this is not too be missed.
Artist sold out I do not think so, a singing voice like this should not be used for just one genre type of music. Love it!
'PLAN B' for me is a peculiar mixture of sounds; I shut my eyes whilst watching them, and it sounded like a young Boy George singing at times; also a bit 'motowny' in style too in places - along with of course some 'Rapping'. Not one for Rapping myself, but I have to say; when put to the backing of some really good sounding music instead of just a loud overbearing beat as it is done here - it really is quite tolerable!
The Show featured at least three tracks if I remember correctly from this album which is what made me decide I would purchase the CD. However; when the CD arrived, there was an 'advisory' sticker to warn of some 'explicit' content. I can never understand why Bands do this; unless it is to either impress some followers - or to shock others. In any event, for me it does neither...
The album is top notch music-wise - lyrics somewhat 'wanting' in my opinion - but then who really ever listens to lyrics anymore? Many of the Songs end rather abrubtly (no fade outs) which lend a 'live' experience to the performance for its Listener.
I really like the sound of this Band, and I should imagine after only one hearing it will most certainly grow with repeated plays. In the meantime, I am knocking one star off my rating (would have given it five without hesitation otherwise) for the unnecessary and pointless 'expletives'. Sorry guys!
The CD also comes with some 'Bonus' content - I never go much for that myself, and as I received a 'warning' on my PC when trying to load it I simply 'ditched' the stuff and didn't bother... If it's free stuff, then why not simply include it 'fully' on the CD?
TRIVIA: CD has an impressive look of an old vinyl record!