DJ DeeKay - In The Mix

Monday, 24 November 2008

"Are you mad?! I got a number one to make, chicks to recieve that you wouldn't believe!"

"Oi T, show off your voice!"

A lotta people have a lot of stuff to say about N-Dubz. Loved and hated in equal measure, their album "Uncle B" debuted at #11 in the UK album charts yesterday. In a week where Beyonce, Leona, Dido, Nickelback, Simply Red and Rod Stewart all droped albums, that's a phenomenal performance.

I've personally always been a fan - their stuff might be poppy and very commercial but from when Better Not Waste My Time first dropped it was obvious they had something special. Where groups in a similar mould have fallen flat at the first hurdle, N Dubz have grown in stature from a Channel U group with major backing to the All Around The World signed hit machine they look to be from here on out. There are 15 actual songs on the album and I have no hesitation in saying that at least 12 of those songs could be released to radio and perform respectably. Most already have! Re-releases included, "Uncle B" will probably have had at least eight singles by the time its run is over. Eight singles! Not including re-releases, 8 of those 15 have had videos shot and aired for them already. These guys have been building a buzz for a long time and it's paid off.

Anyway, the album is fucked. It's a cliche to describe an album as having something for everyone, but this album really does. Ultimately it's got the most for the kids, N-Dubz fans are predominantly teenagers and apart from a handful of more adult-orientated tracks, the material reflects that. That's no slur on the quality of the music though - the album is packed with catchy hooks, big vocals from Tulisa and potential hits.

Personal favourites are "Wouldn't You", "Work Work", "Don't Get Nine" and "Strong Again". It would be the whole album if they hadn't made half the album singles and I was hearing smashes like "I Swear", "Better Not Waste My Time", "Feva Las Vegas" and "Defeat You" for the first time and not the 400th. Hits for days.

There's an argument that without Tulisa, these guys wouldn't be anywhere. That could be true, but for all we know, the sometimes anonymous Faze writes all of those killer hooks. It's irrelevant anyway, because, for now at least, she is an integral part of the group, and it is the group who have worked themselves into their current position. This album might be slept on (it doesn't look likely given the success it has already had), because so many of the group's singles have been all over Channel U, Base and Kiss for at least a couple of years already, but that shouldn't count against them. They've managed to cross over into the mainstream, and are doing exactly what they were doing on Day 1. Don't hate, congratulate.

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