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Tinie Tempah|YOUTH

YOUTH

Tinie Tempah

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YOUTH is English MC Tinie Tempah's third major-label full-length, and like his second, 2013's Demonstration, it was several years in the making. The album includes five previously released singles, including career highlight "Not Letting Go" (featuring Jess Glynne), which came out back in June of 2015 and hit number one on the U.K. pop charts. YOUTH is loaded with guest stars and pop hooks, but at the core of it all is the same Tinie Tempah who came up as part of the garage/grime scene and made his name through self-released mixtapes. While there are plenty of party songs here, Tempah's lyrics are often introspective, as he reflects on getting older and struggling to make it through life, particularly on the opening title track. There are a few darker moments closer to material from his mixtapes, such as the sinister, hardcore "Something Special," which is filled with brutal, quick-witted put-downs and spooky, trap-inspired beats. But tracks like these are balanced out by bubbly pop tunes like the Tinashé-featuring "Text from Your Ex," which starts out with a sunny, Miami bass-inspired electro beat before a deeper U.K. garage bassline creeps in during the second verse. Other songs are somewhere in between, such as "Cameras," which has paranoid lyrics but a relaxed, simmering midtempo beat. A few of the stabs at pop crossovers seem forced; the clumsy Latin dance attempt "Mamacita" is particularly cringe-worthy, and formulaic dance-pop tune "Girls Like" features grating diva vocals by Zara Larsson, who awkwardly interpolates the Waitresses' "I Know What Boys Like." Somehow "Find Me," featuring folk-rock wunderkind Jake Bugg, fares better. While the team-up might seem like a dicey proposition, Bugg's haunting refrain and gentle acoustic guitars suitably underscore Tempah's persistent lyrics. At 17 songs, it's inevitable that not every track will appeal to every listener.

© Paul Simpson /TiVo

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YOUTH

Tinie Tempah

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1
Youth Explicit
00:03:12

Tinie Tempah, Lead Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Chris Athens, MasteringEngineer - Richie Montana, Arranger, Audio Recording Engineer - Wez Clarke, Programmer, MixingEngineer - Dave Huffman, MasteringEngineer - Nana Rouges, Producer, Arranger, Programmer, Audio Recording Engineer - Nana Bediako Rogues, Writer

© 2017 Disturbing London Records Limited, under exclusive licence to Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group company ℗ 2017 The copyright in this sound recording is owned by Disturbing London Records Limited under exclusive licence to Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

2
Not for the Radio (feat. MNEK) Explicit
00:04:05

Tinie Tempah, Lead Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Chris Athens, MasteringEngineer - Richie Montana, Audio Recording Engineer - MNEK, Producer, Programmer, Vocals, Writer, FeaturedArtist - Dave Huffman, MasteringEngineer - Ray Blk, Additional Vocals

© 2017 Disturbing London Records Limited, under exclusive licence to Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group company ℗ 2017 The copyright in this sound recording is owned by Disturbing London Records Limited under exclusive licence to Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

3
Lightwork Explicit
00:03:44

Tinie Tempah, Lead Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Chris Athens, MasteringEngineer - Richie Montana, Audio Recording Engineer - Kevin Grainger, MixingEngineer - Wez Clarke, MixingEngineer - Shift K3y, Producer, Programmer - Lewis Jankel, Writer - Dave Huffman, MasteringEngineer

© 2017 Disturbing London Records Limited, under exclusive licence to Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group company ℗ 2017 The copyright in this sound recording is owned by Disturbing London Records Limited under exclusive licence to Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

4
Chasing Flies (feat. Nea) Explicit
00:03:20

Tinie Tempah, Lead Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Chris Athens, MasteringEngineer - Richie Montana, Producer, Audio Recording Engineer, VocalArranger - Wez Clarke, Programmer, MixingEngineer - Nea, Vocals, FeaturedArtist - Troy Henry, Writer - Richard Hoey, Writer - Linnea Södahl, Writer - Dave Huffman, MasteringEngineer

© 2017 Disturbing London Records Limited, under exclusive licence to Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group company ℗ 2017 The copyright in this sound recording is owned by Disturbing London Records Limited under exclusive licence to Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

5
Mamacita (feat. Wizkid) Explicit
00:03:40

Gareth Keane, Writer - Tinie Tempah, Lead Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Chris Athens, MasteringEngineer - Richie Montana, Producer, Percussion, Audio Recording Engineer - Bless Beats, Producer - Wez Clarke, Programmer, MixingEngineer - Wizkid, Vocals, FeaturedArtist - Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun, Writer - Dave Huffman, MasteringEngineer - Nana Rouges, Producer, Drums - Juna Rojas Meneses, Trumpet - Limber Cortina Vargas, Accordion - Roberto Jimenez Torres, Vihuela - Salvador Jimenez Hernandez, Guitar - St Aubyn Antonio Levy, Writer - Marlysse Rose Simmons, Writer - Reinaldo Gonzalez Alvarez, Writer - Janee “Jin Jin” Bennett, Writer

© 2017 Disturbing London Records Limited, under exclusive licence to Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group company ℗ 2016 The copyright in this sound recording is owned by Disturbing London Records Limited under exclusive licence to Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

6
Text from Your Ex (feat. Tinashe) Explicit
00:03:26

Ina Wroldsen, Writer - Tinie Tempah, Lead Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Stuart Hawkes, MasteringEngineer - Richie Montana, Producer, Arranger, Audio Recording Engineer - Wez Clarke, Programmer, MixingEngineer - Tinashé, Vocals, FeaturedArtist - Jax Jones, Producer, Writer - Tinashe Kachingwe, Writer - Grades, Producer, Programmer, Writer - TIEKS, Producer, Programmer - Alisha Lee, Vocals

© 2017 Disturbing London Records Limited, under exclusive licence to Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group company ℗ 2016 The copyright in this sound recording is owned by Disturbing London Records Limited under exclusive licence to Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

7
Cameras (feat. David Stewart) Explicit
00:04:03

Tinie Tempah, Lead Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - David Stewart, Producer, Programmer, Vocals, Writer, FeaturedArtist - Chris Athens, MasteringEngineer - Richie Montana, Arranger, Additional Drums, Writer, Audio Recording Engineer - Wez Clarke, Programmer, MixingEngineer - Dave Huffman, MasteringEngineer

© 2017 Disturbing London Records Limited, under exclusive licence to Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group company ℗ 2017 The copyright in this sound recording is owned by Disturbing London Records Limited under exclusive licence to Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

8
If You Know (feat. Tiggs Da Author) Explicit
00:03:40

Tinie Tempah, Lead Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Chris Athens, MasteringEngineer - Richie Montana, Arranger, Audio Recording Engineer - Wez Clarke, Programmer, MixingEngineer - Tiggs Da Author, Vocals, FeaturedArtist - Dave Huffman, MasteringEngineer - Alastair O'Donnell, Writer - Legendary Beatz, Producer, Programmer, Writer - AOD, Guitar - Tigga Da Author, Writer

© 2017 Disturbing London Records Limited, under exclusive licence to Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group company ℗ 2017 The copyright in this sound recording is owned by Disturbing London Records Limited under exclusive licence to Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

9
Holy Moly Explicit
00:02:41

Tinie Tempah, Lead Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Chris Athens, MasteringEngineer - Richie Montana, Producer, Audio Recording Engineer - Wez Clarke, Programming, MixingEngineer - Shift K3y, Producer - Lewis Jankel, Writer - Dave Huffman, MasteringEngineer

© 2017 Disturbing London Records Limited, under exclusive licence to Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group company ℗ 2017 The copyright in this sound recording is owned by Disturbing London Records Limited under exclusive licence to Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

10
Girls Like (feat. Zara Larsson) Explicit
00:03:15

Tinie Tempah, Lead Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Mack, Writer - Richie Montana, Producer, Audio Recording Engineer - Christopher Butler, Writer - Wez Clarke, Programmer, MasteringEngineer, MixingEngineer - Zara Larsson, FeaturedArtist - Janee Bennett, Writer - Shift K3y, Producer - Lewis Jankel, Writer - Nana Rouges, Producer, Programmer, Vocals - Aleisha Bennet, Writer - Zara Maria Lawson, Writer - Nana Bediako Rogues, Writer

© 2017 Disturbing London Records Limited, under exclusive licence to Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group company ℗ 2016 The copyright in this sound recording is owned by Disturbing London Records Limited under exclusive licence to Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

11
Something Special Explicit
00:02:09

Tinie Tempah, Lead Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Stuart Hawkes, MasteringEngineer - Richie Montana, Producer, Arranger, Audio Recording Engineer - Wez Clarke, Programmer, MixingEngineer - Nana Rouges, Producer, Programmer, Additional Vocals - Nana Bediako Rogues, Writer

© 2017 Disturbing London Records Limited, under exclusive licence to Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group company ℗ 2017 The copyright in this sound recording is owned by Disturbing London Records Limited under exclusive licence to Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

12
They Don't know (feat. Kid Ink, Stefflon Don & AoD) Explicit
00:03:37

Bryce Wilson, Writer - Kenneth Edmonds, Writer - Tinie Tempah, Lead Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Chris Athens, MasteringEngineer - Toni Braxton, Writer - Richie Montana, Producer, Programmer, Audio Recording Engineer - Yogi, Producer, Drums, Keyboards - MNEK, Programmer - Wez Clarke, Programmer, MixingEngineer - Stefflon Don, Vocals, FeaturedArtist - Kid Ink, Vocals, Writer, FeaturedArtist - James Royo, Producer, Programmer - Yogesh Tulsiani, Writer - Dave Huffman, MasteringEngineer - AOD, Vocals, Writer, FeaturedArtist - Steff London, Writer - Shock Addict, Drum Programmer

© 2017 Disturbing London Records Limited, under exclusive licence to Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group company ℗ 2017 The copyright in this sound recording is owned by Disturbing London Records Limited under exclusive licence to Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

13
So Close (feat. Guy Sebastian & Bugzy Malone) Explicit
00:04:18

Guy Sebastian, Vocals, Writer, FeaturedArtist - Tinie Tempah, Lead Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Chris Athens, MasteringEngineer - Richie Montana, Producer, Audio Recording Engineer - Wez Clarke, Programmer, MixingEngineer - Bugzy Malone, Vocals, Writer, FeaturedArtist - Dave Huffman, MasteringEngineer - Nana Rouges, Producer, Programmer - Nana Bediako Rogues, Writer

© 2017 Disturbing London Records Limited, under exclusive licence to Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group company ℗ 2017 The copyright in this sound recording is owned by Disturbing London Records Limited under exclusive licence to Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

14
Find Me (feat. Jake Bugg) Explicit
00:04:24

Tinie Tempah, Lead Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Chris Athens, MasteringEngineer - Richie Montana, Audio Recording Engineer - Jada, Additional Vocals - Mike Stobbie, String Arranger, Choir - Wez Clarke, Programmer, MixingEngineer - Jake Bugg, Guitar, Vocals, Writer, FeaturedArtist - Dominic McAllister, Writer - Dave Huffman, MasteringEngineer - AOD, Writer - Nana Rouges, Producer - Nana Bediako Rogues, Writer - Alisha Lee, Additional Vocals - Ailisha Lee, Writer

© 2017 Disturbing London Records Limited, under exclusive licence to Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group company ℗ 2017 The copyright in this sound recording is owned by Disturbing London Records Limited under exclusive licence to Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

15
Rehab (feat. Tiggs Da Author) Explicit
00:03:03

Tinie Tempah, Lead Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Chris Athens, MasteringEngineer - Richie Montana, Producer, Arranger, Audio Recording Engineer - Kevin Grainger, Programmer, MixingEngineer - Adam Muhabwa, Writer - Tiggs Da Author, Vocals, FeaturedArtist - Dave Huffman, MasteringEngineer - Alastair O'Donnell, Writer - AOD, Guitar - Nana Rouges, Producer, Programmer - Nana Bediako Rogues, Writer - Tigga Da Author, Writer - Alisha Lee, Additional Vocals

© 2017 Disturbing London Records Limited, under exclusive licence to Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group company ℗ 2017 The copyright in this sound recording is owned by Disturbing London Records Limited under exclusive licence to Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

16
Shadows (feat. Bipolar Sunshine) Explicit
00:02:58

Tinie Tempah, Lead Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Chris Athens, MasteringEngineer - Richie Montana, Producer, Arranger, Audio Recording Engineer - Wez Clarke, Programmer, MixingEngineer - Bipolar Sunshine, Vocals, Writer, FeaturedArtist - Lovy Longomba, Writer - Dave Huffman, MasteringEngineer - Lovy, Producer, Programmer - Scotty Lvx, Producer, Programmer - Terrel Parham, Writer - Recella, Writer

© 2017 Disturbing London Records Limited, under exclusive licence to Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group company ℗ 2017 The copyright in this sound recording is owned by Disturbing London Records Limited under exclusive licence to Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

17
Not Letting Go (feat. Jess Glynne)
00:03:49

Gareth Keane, Writer - Tinie Tempah, Lead Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Richie Montana, Producer, Audio Recording Engineer - Bless Beats, Producer, Programmer - Jermaine Jackson, Writer - Wez Clarke, Programmer, MixingEngineer - Jin Jin, Backing Vocals - Shift K3y, Producer - Jess Glynne, Lead Vocals, Writer, FeaturedArtist - Lewis Jankel, Writer - Krishane Murray, Writer - Lewis @ Star Delta, MasteringEngineer - Janee “Jin Jin” Bennett, Writer

© 2017 Disturbing London Records Limited, under exclusive licence to Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group company ℗ 2015 The copyright in this sound recording is owned by Disturbing London Records Limited under exclusive licence to Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

Album review

YOUTH is English MC Tinie Tempah's third major-label full-length, and like his second, 2013's Demonstration, it was several years in the making. The album includes five previously released singles, including career highlight "Not Letting Go" (featuring Jess Glynne), which came out back in June of 2015 and hit number one on the U.K. pop charts. YOUTH is loaded with guest stars and pop hooks, but at the core of it all is the same Tinie Tempah who came up as part of the garage/grime scene and made his name through self-released mixtapes. While there are plenty of party songs here, Tempah's lyrics are often introspective, as he reflects on getting older and struggling to make it through life, particularly on the opening title track. There are a few darker moments closer to material from his mixtapes, such as the sinister, hardcore "Something Special," which is filled with brutal, quick-witted put-downs and spooky, trap-inspired beats. But tracks like these are balanced out by bubbly pop tunes like the Tinashé-featuring "Text from Your Ex," which starts out with a sunny, Miami bass-inspired electro beat before a deeper U.K. garage bassline creeps in during the second verse. Other songs are somewhere in between, such as "Cameras," which has paranoid lyrics but a relaxed, simmering midtempo beat. A few of the stabs at pop crossovers seem forced; the clumsy Latin dance attempt "Mamacita" is particularly cringe-worthy, and formulaic dance-pop tune "Girls Like" features grating diva vocals by Zara Larsson, who awkwardly interpolates the Waitresses' "I Know What Boys Like." Somehow "Find Me," featuring folk-rock wunderkind Jake Bugg, fares better. While the team-up might seem like a dicey proposition, Bugg's haunting refrain and gentle acoustic guitars suitably underscore Tempah's persistent lyrics. At 17 songs, it's inevitable that not every track will appeal to every listener.

© Paul Simpson /TiVo

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