South London-based spoken-word artist, acclaimed writer and hip-hop enthusiast Kate Tempest has been an underground tip for years now. But her latest album “Let Them Eat Chaos” might just prove to be her breakthrough. That’s because she manages to unite both poetry and politics into her lyrics. But as if that were not enough, she mixes up languages in her own style, sometimes very classical and then the next moment back into street slang. Like this excerpt from “Europe is Lost”: “England! England! Patriotism / And you wonder why kids want to die for religion / It goes, all your life work for a pittance / Maybe you’ll make it to manager, pray for a raise / Cross the beige days off on your beach babe calendar / The anarchists are desperate for something to smash.” The album is a concept one: Tempest focuses on the lives of seven South Londoners and tells their life stories and failures in and in between the songs. Doing this, she has become one of the voices of her generation for many. She thrives in the mental wounds many Millenials are suffering from – born into a world of consumerism that they can’t afford anymore and their political voice confiscated by the generations that preceded them. Now add to this a discrete but effectively produced musical background that manages to carry the lyrics when needed and to vanish if Tempest’s voice is self-sufficient, and you surely have one of the best albums of this – very odd and peculiar – year.
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