- 17 Apr 19
High concept maximalism from UK rap prodigy, Dave's new album Psychodrama is out now.
Dave is an artist with many talents. A rapper, producer, songwriter and more, he often finds himself pulled in many directions at once. Now, after a nearly four-year build up, a jumble of singles and two EPs, his debut studio album is here – and he’s still doing everything at once!
Distant saxophone licks (‘Location’), distorted vocal samples (‘Streatham’), and bellowing strings (‘Lesley’) make for a sound that variously echoes the grandiose trap of Travis Scott’s Rodeo; early Chicago drill; and the modern dancehall/Latin pop-rap of Drake. There is also, however, an undeniable element of pop songwriting to many of these songs: think Lil Durk by way of Adele.
Dave is clearly aiming for something massive with Psychodrama: two of the album’s climactic closers – ‘Lesley’ and ‘Drama’ – clock in respectively at 11 and seven minutes. Lyrically, they are notably ambitious: the former is a story about a pregnant woman and an abusive boyfriend; the latter a treatise on family, and sacrifice on the way to success. Both are highlights, but many of the shorter numbers also stand up impressively, brimming as they do with charisma, confidence and energy – even if Dave does play it a bit at safe at times. Despite the occasional lack of depth, with Psychodrama, Dave – still only 20 – has delivered a highly promising debut.