- 11 Feb 19
Toast To Our Differences is available to stream now.
Rudimental’s latest record Toast To Our Differences sounds curiously like it’s been tooled to reach as many ears as possible.
It is an approach that has its benefits. Their lyrics, for example, are so simple that no one could be offended. Each song is colourful and bouncy, and there’s a unifying blend of drum and bass with horn sections. This brightness, coupled with titles like ‘Sun Comes Up’ and ‘Summer Of Love’, will make the album a perfect accompaniment to back garden beers and burgers in a few months.
That said, thanks to its hour-plus running time, listening to the record in the depths of January is another matter. Despite the hefty number of collaborations, many of the guest performances feel interchangeable: there are several earnest male singer-songwriters (James Arthur, Tom Walker), and a glut of generic female pop vocalists (Anne-Marie, OLIVIA, Raphaella and RAYE).
In fairness, the best tracks fully embrace the album’s loose concept of celebrating diversity. The titular opener is a breezy R&B tune, featuring a dynamic blend of Zimbabwean popstar Shungudzo, Jamaican artist Protoje, and British folk singer Hak Baker. ‘No Pain’ is similarly exciting, thanks to the contributions of UK rapper Kojey Radical and reggae star Kabaka Pyramid. Elsewhere, legendary South African choral group Ladysmith Black Mambazo also make a welcome appearance on the all-too-brief ‘Thula Ungakhlai’. Rudimental are eminently capable, but this is an occasion where less might have been more.