Showing posts with label rag'n'bone man. Show all posts
Showing posts with label rag'n'bone man. Show all posts

Saturday, March 4, 2017

video review: 'human' by rag'n'bone man

It's not good, let's just say that. Okay, Ed Sheeran and Sun Kil Moon are next, stay tuned!

album review: 'human' by rag'n'bone man

Of all of the acts that I've covered on this show, especially in recent months courtesy of Patreon, this is arguably one that I have been looking forward to the least.

I know, harsh allegations, especially for an act who is currently racking up hits in the UK, but indeed, that's part of the issue. Unlike most people, I knew about Rag'N'Bone Man, real name Rory Graham, back a few years ago, and I was not surprised to see a significant push behind him, especially in the wake of rougher artists like Hozier blazing the trail for bluesier acts having success. Hell, in an episode of Billboard BREAKDOWN I used every possible excuse to avoid talking about Rag'N'Bone Man, even calling him a Hozier rip-off... which got me a fair amount of flak from people who told me that he actually predates Hozier and he had been pushing out EPs since the early 2010s. Believe it or not, I actually did know this, mostly through his affiliation with a few smaller British hip-hop acts. But that indeed might have been part of the problem for me - Hozier trended towards blues rock and gospel, rougher genres that demanded grit and a darker brand of howling soul that I really came to love. And while Rag'N'Bone Man was capable of that sort of sound, most of his early EPs played closer to neo-soul and pushed him into his smoother upper register and featured hip-hop guest verses, he was going in a different direction.

And then Hozier's self-titled debut sold over a million copies worldwide for Island and you can tell that the major labels wanted to have at least somebody who could compete in the same territory. Atlantic had Ed Sheeran who was even bigger, Interscope had Imagine Dragons - although  Smoke + Mirrors wouldn't help  - Republic snatched up James Bay who would go on to make 'Let It Go' an adult alternative hit, and Columbia... see, that's the thing, they were distributors for Hozier, they didn't need another act to play in this lane while Hozier worked on his sophomore project unless they were looking for R&B/neo-soul crossover... which I doubted. And yet here we are with Rag'n'Bone Man, for whose breakout single 'Human' you can largely thank Hozier for popularizing that style, especially in the UK. But I do like Hozier, and even though I didn't really care for 'Human', maybe Rag'n'Bone Man might be able to recapture some of that magic on his full-length debut?