Album Review: Professor Green – Alive Till I’m Dead
Hackney born rapper Professor Green releases his much anticipated latest record Alive Till I’m Dead this week and with a couple of tasty singles already having made a triumphant impact in the charts this year, the record has got off to a successful start.
Alive Till I’m Dead puts to good use Green’s contacts within the industry and the album is as much a duet record as a Professor Green album so far as being predominantly reliant on either a guest vocalist or a heavy sample from some classic records of yesteryear.
Just Be Good To Green follows and is the records stand out number featuring Brit bigmouth Lily Allen. Using a sample of Beats Internationals 1990 hit, Dub Be Good To Me, it hits the pause button on Allen’s retirement from the recording industry and is an infectious pop track with a strong summer-vibe that’s enough to blow the dust from the originals brilliance.
Sample is pretty much the tone of the first half of the record with the INXS sampled I Need You Tonight following. Waving the lead single banner for the record, the track was the first of Professor Green’s attempts at breaking the mainstream hip hop market and the track propelled the rapper into the spotlight as well as to the top of the UK charts.
Dropping the dance element for a while, City Of Gold is one of the unfortunate numbers on the album with Green doing his best at imitating Eminem whilst attempting at a heavy rocker chorus but failing to impress. Oh My God, which features newbie Labrinth, is a trance fueled mix where deep dance beats meets Goth hip hop but is another inclusion that would have had a better life as a single B-side than an album addition.
Do For You is a dark number with a catchy string arrangement pulling together a tight track with synths, Goth vocals and a pulsating beat making for one of the catchiest additions to the album.
Further down the record Monster gives the latter half of the collection a beat heavy dance entry with a future club hit feel to it. With fellow rising rapper Example providing the catchy chorus vocals, this one proves to be the another strong number on the album.
Alive Till I’m Dead gives Green the arena to dabble in various musical styles and genres and the opportunity to do so is lapped up with musical stylings flowing from dance scene club juggernauts like I Need You Tonight and Monster bumping hips with reggae dub number Closing The Door, heavy Goth rocker City Of Gods, the orchestral and African hip hop flavored Jungle and the charming piano closer Goodnight.
Unfortunately the fact that Green relies so heavily on guest vocalists and samples gives the feeling that Alive Till I’m Dead is not a sole Green record but is more an album with mutual ownership between the rapper and a dozen other acts who have held his hand from start to finish.
There are a few tracks that will stick with you on Alive Till I’m Dead and the tracks that do that are fantastic though there are more that will come and go as album fodder coated with a nasal Hackney tone that tends to grate on you past the first handful of track that the record produces. Saying this however, the album has some great moments that will help it become a staple in many a teenage record collection over the following six months.