In the press release for this album, Ty quite rightly notes how the abundance of guests on a typical hip-hop album can deflect from the presence of the artist themselves, and get in the way of what they’re trying to say. For ‘A Work Of Heart’ – top punning – he takes great care to avoid the same thing happening to him, choosing those vocal guests that appear so that they work around his own vocals. His is a reassuring presence, the feeling of an older brother who has seen it all before, but there is never any danger of him slipping into musical or lyrical complacency. ‘Brixton Baby’ sees to that, an ode to South London that is full of observations about the ultimate pulling power of home. Musically this is a really strong album, with great rhythms and hooks, the rapping easy and natural, always vital – and, crucially, easy to hear and relate to. A man on the same streets as his listeners, his is a wise vocal presence full of clever and pertinent observations, but he always offers hope, too. This comes through in songs like the wonderful ‘Eyes Open’, ‘You Gave Me’ and ‘Work Of Heart’ itself. This is a really uplifting album that keeps on giving with the repeated hearings it ultimately deserves!
Ben Hogwood
5 out of 5