Ben â€˜Plan Bâ€™ Drew has shed the teenage hoody for his second album as the London-born artist takes significant musical steps away from his first critically-acclaimed album, Who Needs Actions When You Got Words. His first offering, released three years ago, demonstrated his raw rapping talents as well as his colourful language and this combination did not see Drew challenging the charts. The Defamation of Strickland Banks not only allows the twenty-six year old to showcase his diverse vocal skills but also to achieve some chart success.
Stay Too Long peaked at number nine in the UK Singles Chart whilst She Said managed six places higher. Drewâ€™s new chart-attacking tactics are no secret as he recently said â€œI learned music only does well when the radio A-lists it. There’s a game that you inadvertently have to play.” If the success of the released singles is anything to go by, then Ben Drew is playing the game very well indeed.
His second album tells the fictitious story of Strickland Banks and his wrongful imprisonment through some soulful, high-pitched crooning, occasionally mixed in with some rapping, as Drew canâ€™t resist a return to his musical roots. The fact that one man can mix two musical elements so elegantly and successfully is extremely admirable, but the raw emotion and energy which was so prominent in his first album is sadly lacking. I was a massive fan of his first album and was rather let down by The Defamation of Strickland Banks, but appreciate that the road to musical success is unlikely to be littered with abusive language and descriptions of rape and assault, no matter how catchy the chorus.
Plan B has cleaned up his look as well as his language to create an impressively converse album but chart success has certainly lead to some sacrifices which will shift, and almost certainly increase, this talented musicianâ€™s fan base.
01. Love Goes Down (03.52)
02. Writing’s on the Wall (03.42)
03. Stay Too Long (03.42)*
04. She Said (03.30)*
05. Welcome to Hell (04.32)
06. Hard Times (03.57)
07. The Recluse (03.19)*
08. Traded in My Cigarettes (04.15)
09. Prayin’ (03.47)
10. Darkest Place (04.20)
11. Free (03.42)
12. I Know a Song (03.10)
13. What You Gonna Do (04.10)
Plan B – She Said (Shy FX Remix)
Plan B – Stay Too Long (Pendulum Remix)
Plan B – The Recluse