Friday, April 24th, 2009

Boy Better Know – Too Many Man

Wiley, Skepta, JME, Shorty and Frisco are party guys, and you know it…


Tom Ewing: I used to play Dungeons and Dragons, man, I feel your pain.

Michaelangelo Matos: This is pretty brilliantly meta — at least, it seems that way to me, far from grime’s climes as I am; for all I know they’re just making light of something that used to be the case but isn’t anymore. By the sound of it, though, it’s pretty present: the track’s genius is the way it balances swarming-machine drone and light-footed frisk.

Briony Edwards: Another UK grime collaboration succumbs to the call of the dance track, and to this end, the focus seems to be more on the “big chorus” than the actual rhyming – which is, in part, lazy and unstructured. Don’t get me wrong, though, it’s catchy as hell and is the kind of thing that would be amazing to hear out, and it’s got a beat and backing sound which are pretty sinister in the best kind of way. I just think a lot of people will be expecting a little bit more than that from Boy Better Know.

Hillary Brown: I guess I get the sentiment, but this is even more repetitive than the Six Flags song and not nearly as catchy.

Alex Macpherson: Way to advertise your club night! This veers perilously close to being the sound of a bunch of boys skulking moodily around an empty dancefloor; of a night not going off, in fact, and an all too recognisable scenario. Indeed, BBK have so few female points of reference that they’re still asking for Blu Cantrells; what is this, 2003? Luckily, they’re good enough at the basics – catchy hook, banging bassline – that “Too Many Man” ends up as a bit of a dancefloor filler, and the last time I heard it out, me and my girls had to sing “too many gyal, too many gyal” on the chorus (referring to the rude Shoreditch bitches who pushed past us and spilled our drinks, obv).

Dave Moore: The low-rent grime production, a sort of sticks-and-twine anxious reggaeton-like beat, and underlying testosterone paint a fascinating picture of a dozen or so thugs standing around bobbing their heads half-heartedly to a dance track, holding their drinks and clearing their throats a lot. “So, uh…did you call your friend?” “Yeah.” “Is he bringing any girls?” “Just his cousin.” “Is his cousin a girl?” “Nope.” “Oh, that sucks.” “Yeah. Ha. We need some more girls in here.” “I know, right?” …And then they realize they’ve held direct eye contact a bit too long and look away, blushing slightly.

Ian Mathers: This plays like it would be ruthlessly efficient on the dancefloor, it’s all densely repetitive chorus and basically nothing else (brief verses from all five MCs are fine but clearly Not The Point). And for what it is, it seems quite effective – but I do feel a bit silly listening to it in my apartment, sitting at my computer.

Rodney J. Greene: The rough and tumble beat makes this a self-fulfilling prophecy, both cause and soundtrack to the the conundrum posed within. While I realize this is very much a part of grime’s dangerous, masculinizing encroachment upon funky house, BBK keep it fun and upbeat, wise enough to know that macho doesn’t have to mean drab.

Additional Scores

Martin Kavka: [1]
Edward Okulicz: [3]
Martin Skidmore: [8]

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