Professor Green: Growing Up in Public review – slightly edgy pop

(Virgin)

Professor Green hasn’t had the best of times recently. This album was pushed back after an annus horribilis that saw him get hit by a car and postpone his tour for the second time in six months. But that turbulence has coincided with a period of maturing; he’s married now and recently penned a moving comment piece about his father’s suicide for this newspaper. Growing Up in Public certainly feels like Green addressing tha t transition. Lullaby, for example, is a slightly overwrought heart-on-sleeve moment– backed by Tori Kelly – concerning his battles with depression. It’s not all weighty laments, though.

The album is powered by the kind of poppy drum’n’bass that pays the bills for Rudimental (Can’t Dance Without You, In the Shadow of the Sun) and snarling, guitar-led hip-pop that owes a huge debt to Mike Skinner’s more playful moments. He also throws some digs at the Script singer Danny O’Donoghue (“Danny O’Donowhat?”) and an angry Robbie Williams voicemail features at the end of I Need Church - apparently prompted by Green’s jibes over Rudebox. The fact that he is taking the time to call out over-the-hill pop acts shows a self-awareness that he didn’t possess in 2011, when he claimed he was “the antidote” to the influx of once underground British rappers who’d been lured by pop pounds. Now he seems happy to occupy that space and fulfil a role as a slightly edgy pop bloke.

Contributor

Lanre Bakare

The GuardianTramp

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