Friday, June 15th, 2018

Ramz – Family Tree

English rapper puts in a slight song…


Claire Biddles: With its gentle electronics, lyrical appreciation of hugging, and Ramz’s brags of keeping his friends “from primary right through secondary”, “Family Tree” manages to be cute without verging into saccharine. Like previous hit “Barking” there’s not too much going on here, but its sing-song sweetness sustains it for three minutes.

Iain Mew: Ramz has capitalised on the big potential for positivity in the Afro Bashment sound again — tracing a big family out of everyone he’s close to from primary school onwards and radiating love. Four successive lines with “company” isn’t up with the pleasure in words of “Barking,” but the mood is such it’s not too big a loss.

Thomas Inskeep: Ramz is a decent (though uninspiring) rapper, but “Family Tree,” his upbeat, looking-back single, is too cute by half, and doesn’t remotely grab me. Or you, probably.

Jonathan Bogart: Sentimental, neighborhood-repping songs where the subtext is how wonderful it is that you’re a mid-level recording artist when you used to be a non-famous child always strike me as self-indulgent fans-only material, whether the genre is country, hip-hop, or sludge metal. (On second thought, I’d definitely listen to the sludge metal version of that song.) This is quite pretty and well-constructed, and I can’t doubt Ramz’ sincerity, but since this is my first introduction to him I have no investment in his glow up.

Alfred Soto: Steel drums increasingly set my teeth on edge, and it’s possible I would’ve endorsed the more charming bits of Ramz’ meditations on family without them, but there ain’t much going on. 

Will Adams: With the proliferation of marimbas in pop music, I’d thought we’d have more soundalikes for the Rugrats theme, but no, it’s just “Work From Home” and now this. It’s a good fit for a song dedicated to the family and friends Ramz grew up with, and if ever it falls into a lull, his charm picks up the slack.

Edward Okulicz: “Family Tree” is sweet and fond and genuine, but very much on the underwritten side. Unless it was intentional that the chorus sounds like something written by a six-year-old. Or that it might have been inspired by that “I love you, you love me” song Barney the Dinosaur used to sing. The aw-shucks nice-boy sweetness Ramz adopts here means he almost gets away with it.

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