If Still Breathing, the opening track from this new album from Jehry Robinson is a smart and dexterous flow of lyricism and rapped salvos; it is when you get to tracks such as Memorial Day that I feel that you finally see him hit his stride. The first few songs on Drink More Water might underline his prowess as a rapper, but it is Memorial Day, a song that blends the gritty street energy with something more accessible that really highlights his songwriting skills. Mainstream might not seem like the right word, but there is undoubtedly the right blend of commercialism and cultish underground vibes to find favour in such quarters.

Similarly, No Happy Days shows a more understated and reflective side to his sound, walking a fine line between singalong, stomp-along grooves and darker and deeper messaging. His Story also looks inward at the artist’s path, a gentle R&B groove that runs on seduction rather than sass, space rather than speed, and Darkness takes all of these elements to their extreme before kicking in with more musical weight, ebbing and flowing between such opposing dynamics over a skittering trap house beat.

Razor wanders into some electro-pop-reggae realms, island vibes running hot through its heart, and That Way also has more than a small amount of that Latin feeling about it, the recurring guitar riff being the chiming high set against the low of the depth-charge bass pulses. Sleep Sleep is a superb acoustic guitar-driven song, a blend of urban grit and an almost folky grace, and Front Door takes those same elements and turns them into an epic and anthemic torch song.

It’s an album of shifting moods and unexpected deliveries, hoping genres and pushing at musical demarcations with ease and showing plenty of new places to explore, new sounds to mix and meld and merge within the broad canon that comes under the urban music umbrella.

Definitely an album that will surprise you, indeed an album that is more than what it first appears to be. Drink More Water, come for the impressive and deft rapping and stay for the breadth of the creativity and musicality.

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