Albums to watch

Heavy Is the Head

Stormzy

Heavy Is the Head

Second album from the London-born grime MC with guest appearances from Aitch, Burna Boy, Ed Sheeran, Headie One, H.E.R. and Yebba

ADM rating[?]

7.7

Label
Atlantic
UK Release date
13/12/2019
US Release date
13/12/2019
  1. 9.0 |   Clash

    ‘Heavy is the Head’ absolutely hits it out of the park. It’s the same winning mix of grime bangers and radio friendly singing as last time, but, crucially, it’s better at making sure they work together on the same project
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  2. 9.0 |   PopMatters

    UK rap phenom Stormzy has a lot to say on his sophomore album. From career milestones to addressing grime beefs, to expressing the precarious position he finds himself in as a spokesperson for a generation of black British youth, Stormzy makes his case for king
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  3. 8.0 |   Under The Radar

    Stormzy delivers one of the most introspective and prayerful works of the year, solidifying his elite status in hip-hop
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  4. 8.0 |   All Music

    More enjoyable overall than Gang Signs, Heavy Is the Head is a well-rounded mix of toughness and sentimentality, and another rightful triumph
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  5. 8.0 |   DIY

    Like life itself, there’s flashes of humour, love, heartbreak, politics, fun, vulnerability and identity
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  6. 8.0 |   NME

    A broad-reaching, genre-buckling romp
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  7. 8.0 |   The FT

    Inward-looking tracks predominate in an elusive but atmospheric musical mix of blues, jazz and soul
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  8. 8.0 |   Q

    A multifarious record, one with sonic scope and perspective that shifts from the myopic to the statesmanlike, the petty to the righteously progressive. Print edition only

  9. 8.0 |   The Independent

    Not only is it a drastic step up from his impressive debut, but it shows an artist keen to test himself emotionally, as well as artistically
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  10. 8.0 |   The Guardian

    He’s become so famous that even the Archbishop of Canterbury loves him – but this brilliant second album shows how difficult Stormzy finds stardom
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  11. 8.0 |   Evening Standard

    Lyrically, it’s all about Stormzy, a broad portrait that shows him as conflicted — confident but frequently unhappy. That album title insists that he’s a king but also that it’s far from easy
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  12. 8.0 |   The Line Of Best Fit

    Stormzy apologises to Maya Jama and addresses the state of the nation on new album
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  13. 7.0 |   Exclaim

    A solid album but also not a surprising one. To boot, the main thing that grounds this album with a sense of time and place is the political side of it
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  14. 7.0 |   Pitchfork

    As he ascends from grime rapper to generational spokesperson, the charismatic UK star tries to figure out where to go next
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  15. 7.0 |   Slant Magazine

    Just about every rapper from Big Daddy Kane to Drake has put his or her own spin on similar mixtures of the hard and soft, but Stormzy sounds more natural than most in his oscillation between the streetwise rude boy and the silky lover man
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  16. 6.0 |   music OMH

    The fondness for schmaltz gets a bit overwhelming, and the album is only great in patches
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