Guvna B ‘Odd 1 Out’ Review

Guvna B Odd 1 Out Album Review

Guvna B has grown and achieved a lot over the last few years making him the “poster boy” for UK Christian Rap music and somewhat of a front-runner in his field. After a strong debut ‘The Narrow Road’ and a Mix-Tape that shook up the Urban Gospel scene in the UK, (‘ScrapBook’) it’s safe to say that the expectation for his sophomore album ‘Odd 1 Out’ was high and that the pressure was on as we awaited this album to see if he had exhausted his resources in the first 2 projects or if there was still a lil’ something left in Guvna B’s tank.

‘Big Boy Riddim’ kicks the album off with a Labrinth-esqe beat, a double-time flow on the pre-chorus and a big bass thumping Drum ‘N’ Bass chorus that starts the album off big a BANG!!!

“Allo mate, lemme get it out the way, I’m a Christian standard…” are Guvna’s first lyrics on ‘Do It Like You’ a dark sounding track which is about finding your identity and being who God created you to be.

I loved the summer/club anthem vibe of ‘Let Go’ with the addition of a bit of Dubstep, all in all making for a feel good tune to let your hair down to, which led into the next track, ‘Say Cheese,’ a noughties UK Garage styled track, which definitely made me wish I could (to put it like Guvna) “Skank”.

Original Sugababes member Keisha Buchanan features on ‘His Love’ which is placed perfectly on the album totally switching up the feel and keeping the album sounding fresh. Buchanan’s rich harmonies and melodies are soothing to the ear and Guvna’s lyrical approach is less “punch line” and more meaningful and impacting… “I just wanna shine Your light on this earth, that You made it’s the least I can do. Cuz’ every time that I think of the things that you do, Lord God I’m in awe of You.”

I didn’t expect to see ‘Wedding Song’ as a song title on the album. On this song Guvna B opens up and lets us know how he feels about his soon to be wife. “I’ve never met somebody that’s like an Angel, but ever so down to earth, and ever so down to prove to me that we could work, that’s why I wanna put a ring on your finger and do it right, now lets take it to the church…” The instrumentation is emotive and expressive with harmonies and riffs galore from the vocalists on the chorus and will appeal to any RnB music lovers and romantics alike.

Guvna B became a narrator on ‘Way Out’ with this song telling a story of a young man wanting a “way out” of his current life. Mark Asari’s silky tone smoothens out the harsh realities of the story being told and portray the emotion of the song perfectly.

‘Sending One Up’ took a few listens for it to grow on me (musically) but now it’s one of my favourites (musically and lyrically) on the album. Guvna shares his heart for those who have left the faith, the homeless and even single mothers on a bed of simple piano lines, soul stirring string arrangements and minimalistic drum patterns… “I’m sending one up for everyone in this world, cah we all need a little help, and I’m sending one up…”

It was nice to hear a different musical approach on the title track ‘Odd 1 Out’ fusing Indie and Urban musical influences to create a cross-genre song with mass appeal and an important message.., “Had to start embracing myself, no point being fake try changing myself… Cause the man in the mirror’s still me and just a little bit of dirt will have me looking filthy…”

‘Odd One Out’ is a coming of age album for Guvna B. Just like his song ‘Free,’ Guvna seems have a freedom about himself to express himself from the fun, upbeat tracks that you’ll play on a sunny day, to his romantic love, to how deeply rooted his faith is to him (and how he wants to share that) to positive affirming messages that can inspire the listener to love who they are and seek their own unique purpose in life.

‘Odd One Out’ is very current, featuring popular music styles with a distinct UK sound. While most of the album is (in some way or form) “Electronic” there are more organic songs on the album with strong melodies that add a refreshing contrast and shimmer to the album. The album does feel a bit heavy on the “party tunes” when listening to the first few songs, which initially left me wanting a lot more (lyrically) but Guvna delivered on that on the remaining songs striking a great balance.

Guvna B has managed to do something with ‘Odd 1 Out’ that not many people can do… On ‘Odd 1 Out’ there’s a fuller picture of Christian faith than what is usually presented… We have fun and we dance and express ourselves… We fall down, but we get up… We don’t always see ourselves as God does, but through relationship with Him, that changes… We love and have Godly relationships… We seek God and find Him and we embark on the journey of God’s purpose for our lives and find our identity in Him, finding what makes us special, unique and different… The ‘Odd 1 Out’.

Track List:

  • Big Boy Riddim
  • Do It Like You
  • Let Go
  • Say Cheese
  • Start Again
  • His Love – feat. Keisha Buchanan
  • Rocket Man – feat. Jorim Kelly
  • Won’t Give Up – feat. Shezar
  • Wedding Song (It’s Just Right)
  • Love Life – feat. Ashley John-Baptiste
  • Way Out – feat. Mark Asari
  • Sending One Up
  • Live In You – feat. LZ7
  • Feel Good Music – feat. Nick Brewer
  • Send A Wave – feat. Canton Jones & Vicky Tola
  • Odd 1 Out
  • Free

5/5

Reviewed By Matt Brooks

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