There was much scratching of heads last week when this 18-year-old north London grime MC, who is barely four singles into his career, beat Dizzee Rascal to the best hip-hop act award at the Mobos. If Chipmunk doubts his worthiness, though, he's concealing it; I Am Chipmunk is as confident as its title. He has loaded the album with skittering, rapid-fire pop songs, leaving little room for anything hardcore. The bleepy Man Dem, a joint effort with Tinchy Stryder, may engage grime fans with its advice to would-be gangsters ("If you're a bad man, be a bad man/If you're an idiot, don't take the bad-man part"), but Diamond Rings, with its delicious ska sample, and the lovelorn-but-exultant Oopsy Daisy are aimed straight at the mainstream. That Mobo may have been premature, but this debut is a commendable opening shot.
Caroline Sullivan writes about rock and pop for the Guardian