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8 out of 10
After reviewing Lethal Bizzle's latest single release "Going Out Tonight" last week, I gave it a well respected 8 out of 10 for its efforts, and said that I was anticipating the release of his album released on October 5th, "Go Hard". I was then given the opportunity to review "Go Hard" and was curious to find out whether the rest of the album would be as commendable as "Going Out Tonight", which had set the bar high for the remainder of the album.
After listening to only the first three tracks, my first impression was "This is going to be a good album". After the intro the first song on the album "Money Power Respect Fame" had similar foundations to the latest single release and had set the course for a great Lethal Bizzle album.
The song I was looking most forward to hearing was "Go Hard", as it featured Donaeo, and was obviously the track taken for the album title. Donaeo's "Party Hard" was a big hit in the grime scene, and working with Bizzle could be a big success. "Go Hard" is very similar to "Party Hard", if you liked that then you will love this, it's very similar, just imagine Lethal Bizzle featuring on "Party Hard" and up the tempo a little, definitely the best track on the album.
Immediately after this I was just hoping the rest of the album would be of such a high standard. Most of it was, I could put the album on, press play, and listen all the way up to (Track 9) "So Addictive". Every track previous to "So Addictive", I would say is worthy of a single release, a lot of work has gone in to these and Lethal Bizzle deserves a lot of credit for what he has produced here. "Rockstar" (Track 11) is another great song, you can see that Bizzle is accommodating to other genres and furthering his fan base. With this album I can see Bizzle becoming more popular, and hopefully before too long he will receive more airplay, and is embraced by the audience, he deserves it.
As good as I think the first half of the album is, I'm sorry to have to say that the second half of it is not as good. Don't get me wrong, I am not saying it is poor; it's just not as good as the first half. "So Addictive", "Flap Your Wings", "Push It", Don't Run It Up", "Who The Fuck Are U?" and "Jump" are average, where as "Money Power Respect Fame", "Go Hard", Can You See Me", "Crazy Nightmare", "Going Out Tonight", "Lost My Mind", "Skullz On My Hoodie", "Rockstar", are all very good. After individually naming the songs that were average, I feel it was only fair to name the good ones, as there are a lot more of these than there are average ones.
Available on the "Go Hard" download version is the bonus track "Jump", which samples House of Pain's "Jump Around". In my opinion I don't think Lethal Bizzle should have used this beat. "Jump Around" (House of Pain) is a classic hip-hop track and is always held in high regard, and to be honest Lethal Bizzle hasn't done it justice here. It is below par, and is not a patch on the original.
I would recommend this album to any Lethal Bizzle fan, or any fan of UK hip-hop, grime, it is worth a good listen at least.
Overall I think this is a very well produced album, which includes work with producers Donaeo, Mark Ronson, Dexplicit, Youngstar and Gallows. Bizzle's lyrics are better than ever, and as I predicted in the review for "Going Out Tonight", "Go Hard" is Lethal Bizzle's best album to date.
Overall this is a good album, but I am now at the point where after "Rockstar", I go back to the start of the album, skipping the last four tracks (not including the Outro).
I am struggling with what rating to give this album, based on the first half of the album and the brilliant "Go Hard" I would give it a 9 out of 10 but its not just about the first half unfortunately.
Anyway, the rating is still well deserved; with a few adjustments it would have been higher though!
2. Money Power Respect Fame
3. Go Hard
4. Can You See Me
5. Crazy Nightmare
6. Going Out Tonight
7. Lost My Mind
8. Skullz on My Hoodie
9. So Addictive
10. Flap Your Wings
12. Push It
13. Don't Run It Up
14. Who The Fuck Are U?
16. **bonus track - available only on download version** Jump