Rising in the ranks as one of Britain’s most formidable and noteworthy voices, Stormzy is back with a new album.
‘Heavy is the Head’ is an album where each of its carefully-penned 16 songs are guaranteed to get you energized for the new year, perfectly summing up that authentic Stormzy flavour we’ve all come to know.
Throughout Stormzy strips everything back as he dives into the pressures of fame and the weight of expectation that evolves out of his public position but does so from a place of gratitude.
It’s clear he’s grown since his last album and isn’t afraid to articulate his life lessons to those around him, giving them something they can relate to and hopefully leave feeling inspired.
The album’s narrative delves into stories of community, passion, defiance and regret as Stormzy immaculately articulates to the emerging black British generation while paying homage to his upbringing and youth.
Stormzy isn’t afraid to be a ‘role model’, using his powerful voice as a vehicle for a generation often ignored or not taken seriously, it’s through this that his music carries immense purpose and meaning which is what makes it so addictive.
The album art is a major centrepiece, taking us back to the memorable moment when he took to Glastonbury’s Pyramid Stage wearing a stab-proof Union Jack vest designed by artist, Banksy.
Let’s not wait any longer and jump into my top five picks from ‘Heavy is the Head’.
‘Crown’ is by far one of my favourite tracks from the album. Produced by Jimmy Napes and MJ Cole, this is an introspective tune coming directly from the heart and soul, as Stormzy said on an Instagram post, “(I) can’t quite summarise the journey of emotions the song takes me on when I listen back to it.”
As the second single off the album, Stormzy announced its release on social media with a rather pertinent caption, “where words fail, music speaks.”
‘Do Better’ is one track that really needs no explaining, press play and you’ll see why.
‘Own It’ featuring Ed Sheeran and Burna Boy has probably already been blasting on your stereo for a couple of weeks now and is definitely one of the biggest grooves on the album. Produced by Jay Weathers and Fred Gibson, this tune marks Stormzy’s fourth collaboration with Ed Sheeran and his first with Burna Boy.
‘Wiley Flow’ gives off big fierce energy vibes, as Stormzy pays homage to grime pioneer, Wiley. For Stormzy, Wiley has personally credited Wiley for supporting him during his rise to success. This is one ego-fuelled track that packs a punch and filled to the brim with a tonne of motivation, definitely a banger for the gym or those runs around the neighbourhood. Quick side note, you may even notice interwoven into the track are Wiley’s ‘Bad ‘Em Up’ and ‘Nightbus Dubplate’.
Finally, ya gal couldn’t leave this one off the list, ‘Vossi Bop’ is Stormzy’s first solo single since 2017 with an earlier version of the track released in 2016. In case you didn’t know, ‘Vossi’ is actually a slang term for Courvoisier cognac and rather suitably this tune is really designed for you to enjoy yourself, which I think was evident when it inspired a viral dance craze.
Want to check out the WHOLE album, go get your copy of ‘Heavy is the Head’ HERE.