ALBUM REVIEW: Bob Vylan – Humble As The Sun | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Ghost Theatre

Released: 05.04.24







Image by Ki Price

Humble As The Sun follows Bob Vylan’s MOBO award winning album The Price Of Life. Where The Price Of Life was predominantly an aggressive, all-out state of the nation address, Humble As The Sun retains the same political rage with a more nuanced and varied musical palette.

It sees the North London two-piece in a more reflective, emotionally generous mood. As ever, humour is used as a means to address the more difficult topics – early single He’s A Man being a perfect example of this – but the record is peppered with positive affirmation that acts as a profound counterblast to the mores of the day.

Musically, Humble As The Sun is a beautiful extension of Bob Vylan’s ability to assimilate sounds that reflect their British and Jamaican identity, with the record taking influence from grime, dancehall, drum and bass, as well as the fairly unique take on punk rock that Bob Vylan are known for. At ten songs, it’s a concise, eclectic bombardment of ideas, not moving at breakneck speed, but ebbing and flowing beautifully. Early single Dream Big touches on some of the group’s most personal exposition, drawing on the scant material circumstances of his formative years not allowing his dreams to recede. It’s a beautiful and poignant message of hope that is somewhat different from anything Bob Vylan has produced before. The last two songs on the record, Ring The Alarm and I’m Still Here, carry a similar kind of poignancy.

Humble As The Sun embodies a sense of maturity and balance that was absent from previous releases, while still having white-hot rage run through it like a stick of Blackpool rock. Detractors might accuse Bob Vylan’s political statements of being on-the-nose, but it is this very direct writing style that makes Humble As The Sun so poignant, relatively devoid of metaphor and incredibly direct, it is this straightforward style which gives the record it’s most generous feature, vulnerability and empathy, and it is those two qualities that will mean repeated listens are rewarded considerably.


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