You leave No Point In Wasting Tears with respect for Ironik
Louis Pattison 2008
British urban music is no stranger to underachievement, rich as it is with fiery young MCs who rule the underground but stumble when it comes to cracking the proper pop charts. DJ Ironik might hail from similar ends – this 20-year old North Londoner has paid his dues on pirate radio, worked with Roll Deep, and done his time networking on MySpace – but his path to the top has seemed unusually toil-free. Listen to Ironik's Top 5 hit Stay With Me (Everybody's Free), though, and it's quickly clear he's doing something very different to his contemporaries. A mournful R&B pop song dedicated to a dead friend, the hook sung by a diva voice sped up to chipmunk pitch, it skirts schmaltz but ultimately works thanks to Ironik's passionate, earnest delivery.
Ironik's debut album expands on the template of Stay With Me, mixing up pitched up vocal hooks with cameos from some of the biggest names in UK urban: Wiley, Tinchy Stryder, London grimestress Ny and Chipmunk all make an appearance. Throughout, though, Ironik remains the rare kind of UK MC you could take home to meet your parents. ''Who says relationships can't last years, man – I swear that's not right,'' he raps, sadly on So Nice, while the Bless Beats-produced Would You Like That, meanwhile, balances sad, whooshing synths with a string of romantic promises that, for once, you feel ring true. There’s a few moments where Ironik's urge to warm hearts or jerk tears come close to backfiring – chiefly, Tiny Dancer (Hold Me Closer), which does its pitched up trick with the voice of none other than Elton John. Even if that's too much for you, though, you leave No Point In Wasting Tears with respect for Ironik, a young auteur who's turned his back on threats, brags and hype, and in doing so, flipped the game on its head.