Though Catch 22 is Tinchy Stryder's first full-length major-label release, it is hardly his first forage into the world of popular music. For years before his major-label debut, Stryder had a name as an underground hip-hop master, even having a full-length independent release prior to any mainstream success. Regardless, Stryder's first full-length release is packed with the excitement of a budding musician entwined with the experience of a veteran hip-hop artist. What makes this album vibrant is its realism; Stryder seems humbled by his recent catapult to fame: On "I'm Landing," he raps, "I ain't seen my girl for days, I ain't seen my bed for days ... But I'm enjoying every little bit of it." This helps eliminate that nauseating I'm-the-hottest-stink-on-the-planet attitude that plagues and detracts from many aspiring hip-hop artists. The other pro to the album is its embrace of electro-pop sounds; rather than present a "classic" ball-hard rap album, Stryder manipulates his talents as a DJ and mixer into producing brilliant synth pop tunes and tracks. And with Fraser Smith at the helm of this album, Stryder has done a terrific job with picking perfect singles: the dance club smash "Take Me Back" is a slice of David Guetta-esque pop-rap, while "Number 1" is electric first, rap second, and is perfect just like that. In addition, Stryder's collaboration with Sugababe Amelle Berabeh, "Never Leave You," wins the award for best-use-of-a-superstar-to-promote-a-newbie. The biggest problem with the album is the lack of follow-up material. Much of the rest of Stryder's album is a touch second-rate to what you've already fallen in love with on the radio; the strongest album cuts are "Halo" and "You're Not Alone," both of which are in the most similar vein to what's already charting; in other words, heavy on the synthesizers and dance hooks, as opposed to straight rapping. The problem is that many of the tracks simply become messy as rap and rhythm blend. That's not to say fans of Stryder's will be dissatisfied; quite contrarily, they will probably love Catch 22 as much as they love its singles; it has strong lyrics and solid hooks. However, those who didn't love his radio hits might not find much they do like on this release. Stryder's debut is perfect for complementing the mega singles, but not necessarily adding much to them, which in 2009, is something of a norm, so it's hard to knock him for that.
Tinchy Stryder has been probably the biggest surprise break through artist of 2009 after gaining pretty much no tips in all the media hype that happens at the start of every year. Despite this it looks like 2009 is really going to be HIS year. After three top 3 singles and two number 1s the album doesn't disappoint. There really is not a skippable track on first listen and aside from the amazing singles this is really an album full of gems. I don't think there is one song that wouldn't at least hit the top 15 here. Highlights aside from the 3 smash hits are Your Not Alone, Preview, Express Urself, We Got Dem, Warning, Spotlight and I'm Landing. Just an amazing body of work. He's taken UK hip hop to a new and exciting place.
Worst thing ever heard
Number 1 kiddie/ pop album. A back of the bus banger album expect all 12yr old kids 2 be bouncin 2 this album until the new Girls Aloud/ Blue albums out! The nail in the coffin for UK hip hop R.I.P. Was so promisin once upon a time....
i love this album ecpesialy take me back and number 1.. i like those songs also the others are great too,
definatly worth getting.
Born: East London, England
Years Active: '00s, '10s