Single Review: Rizzle Kicks – ‘Traveller’s Chant’

“There’s room for sentiment, but not sentimentality, and Rizzle Kicks walk the high wire keeping everything in balance”

4 STARS

Digital Release: April 8, 2012

Physical Release: N/A

There’s a lot of artists like Rizzle Kicks. Not so much as the fact that they’re quite possibly the biggest goofball duo to erupt out of the pop spectrum since Same Difference, but mainly because of their background and the means by which they found fame. Fans would like to attribute it to ‘Down With The Trumpets’, as any loyal group of fans would, and the flat-out cynics would put it down to their thirty second skate-park romp with Olly Murs on the equally infectiously catchy ‘Heart Skips A Beat’. But to those that drift somewhere in the middle of doe-eyed fandom and needle-sharp cynicism, Rizzle Kicks are merely the next coming on a conveyor-belt of uncomfortably inevitable British success stories. Their vernacular triviality sets them well apart from fellow BRIT School alumni Jessie J, Adele and Leona Lewis for example, who are far easier targets if you want to make an argument that carries more weight than a simple rant at Rizzle Kicks’ non-diminishing hyperactivity. It seems then, to most of these selectively cynical self-professed critics, that Rizzle Kicks’ successful directly stems from the big wigs governing what the masses should and shouldn’t like. We like them because we were told to, in the most crude sense. 

Though, where Rizzle Kicks differ from the rest of the boring guitar-wielding balladeers that rise from BRIT School like Imogen Heap and Katie Melua, is that their quick-fire wit and boundless imagination elevates them well above the urban landscape from which they carved their niche. Forget simply flying and achieving their ambitions; this remarkably well-balanced-yet-offbeat pair want to soar – they say so on the first track of ‘Stereo Typical’: ‘Dreamers’. But of course with every high there is a come down and cue the monotone rap and softly-sung chorus to ‘Traveller’s Chant’, a song about ditching the baggage, upping sticks and jetting off round the world. It’s a pleasant, almost easy-listening affair and the sort of song that makes a rainy day in the UK just a little bit brighter, knowing the limitless possibilities that not giving a care in the world can bring. It sounds awfully sentimental but that’s just it; there’s room for sentiment, but not sentimentality, and Rizzle Kicks walk the high wire keeping everything in balance.

You could, of course, criticise Rizzle Kicks for being so unashamedly middle-class-sounding, writing a song about a Gap Year, but where the usual boisterous bravado of songs that fool themselves into thinking they’re making epoch-defining statements cripple under their own stupidity, Jordan’s self-deprecating murmurs prove the impossible and send the tables turning as for once, the powers that be may have invested in the promotion of an act worthy of an album’s worth of attention.

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