Its been a few years since we first heard from Obaro Ejimiwe, aka Coventry rapper and MC Ghostpoet with his Mercury nominated dÃ©but record, Peanut Butter Blues and Melancholy Jam, and he’s back with his third album, Shedding Skin. The name, perhaps a reflection of the slightly different direction in which the sound of this record takes with Obaro moving towards a more band centric sound.
We heard a slight change in sound on the last album, Some Say I So I Say Light, but with this record he has gone all the way by recording the whole album with the help of a live band. He still manages to keep that genre defying trip hop/dub/experimental/post-rock/hip hop sound that we have come to know along side his gruff, almost lethargic vocals. Only this time they are accompanied by lingering pianos and dark, moody guitar riffs and a number of guest vocalists, Including the likes of Lucy Rose and Etta Bond.
On this record Obaro covers topics from homelessness, relationships and even politics. Its his darkest album yet I feel, but fans of the first two albums who will instantly recognise the voice and flow that he brings to his albums will not be disappointed, and his lyrics are as honest and engaging as ever. The high points for me being the tracks “X Marks the Spot” and “Sorry My Love, It’s You Not Me”.
Ghostpoet already has a strong and loyal fan base and this is equally as solid as his two previous records, so I am sure that will continue to grow. Its clear that Obaro is intent on evolving as an artist and cementing his status as one of the artists at the forefront of pushing and moulding the sound of British hip hop, and Shedding Skin can only help with that effort.
Review – John Dent