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Devlin ft. Yasmin - 'Runaway'

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Fraser McAlpine | 10:36 UK time, Friday, 22 October 2010


I'll admit to feeling a little sceptical about this fella at first. For all that it was only supposed to be a calling-card, 'Brainwashed' didn't really showcase Devlin's story-telling skills, and apart from a couple of sharp one-liners, it wasn't clear why exactly he was as good as he said he was.

Now I know. It's because he can come up with a line like "burning rubber over gravel until we see the English channel" in the middle of a song like this. A song which is - musically at least - not that startling. Just another four-chord churnaround based loosely on those Pachelbel changes N-Dubz used for 'We Dance On'.

But given the benefit of Dev's precision wordplay, and his urgent delivery, it's transformed into something darkly optimistic, quietly brilliant, and poetic in a really unpoetic way.

(Here's the video. It's dizzy.)

So where 'Brainwashed' suffered a smidge by being a song about what it is like to be as brilliant as Devlin - and therefore a song with an intended target audience of one person - this is where the real cranial burrowing begins. And that's because it's about something we probably have all felt at one time or another.

It really doesn't matter where you come from in life, sooner or later, you'll run into the pressure of being you in your world, a world which will at some point demand that you are a little less you-ish and a lot more like everyone else.

Even if you were the Queen herself, there would come a day where your instincts would end up in conflict with the needs of everyone around you - I can't imagine what it might be, some protocol or other, probably to do with not being allowed to wear trainers on a horse.

And at that point, you'll want to take your crown and sceptre, and take the first golden carriage off to somewhere else...after packing a few swan sandwiches and a bottle of quinceade.

You'll picture yourself riding off into the sunset, flicking the Vs at your startled courtiers and thumbing your nose to the world, with this song booming out of the royal bassbins.

And just for a moment, you'll feel the pressure ease, and this will give you the strength to carry on. This, plus a great big unicorn pie.

Four starsDownload: Out now

BBC Music page

(Fraser McAlpine)

H-K's Blog says: " am so starting to love UK rap!"

Rated R says: "The track hits hard and should be a massive breakthrough hit."



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