While their debut album was a pick 'n' mix of wannabe So Solid hip hop tracks and...
Christian Guiltenane 2003-09-11
When Blazin' Squad burst onto the scene last year, who among us didn't let out a mighty laugh?
Not only were they were being touted as a junior So Solid Crew, their performances became legendary must-sees for pop kids of every age, just so that we could see how amateurish the boys could be; they never disappointed. The fact that the ten strong crew (oops, we mean Squad) could bearly rub a GCSE result above a grade C together, only added to our suspicions that Blazin' Squad were some kind of big joke, only without the punchline.
But wait! A year has passed and things have bizarrely changed. And by jiminy, they've changed for the better!
While their debut album was a pick 'n' mix of wannabe So Solid hip hop tracks and substandard East 17 ballads, this second effort is, remarkably, absolutely sensational. Really!
If you've already checked out the rather saucy single, "Flip Reverse", you'll know that this time the boys have looked a little further afield than South London for inspiration. Instead, it sounds like they've been listening to their US homies and have learnt some very valuable lessons along the way.
Though some of the slowies (like the very Five-sounding "Still Thinking About You") occasionally lets them down, the harder edged tunes are simply bang on. The magestic opener "Here 4 One" is absolutely fantastic and is, quite frankly, better than anything So Solid have produced throughout their up-but-mainly-down career! "Shorty" is another gem worthy of single release, cannily fusing as it does pop melodies with dramatic chords, while even their hiphop-rification of T Rex's "Children Of The Revolution" (retitled here as simply "Revolution") hits the right spot too.
Centre piece of the whole album, though, has to be the moody Eminem-style "No Angels", which apes the great one's "Stan" and "Way I Am" but possesses a chilling and a rather epic sound of its own! This is possibly the bands greatest song so far and will be the one that they will have to top on album three. Now Or Never sees the boys growing into men.
So well done boys! This is a solid album worthy of respec'.