ALBUM REVIEW: Loyle Carner – hugo | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

Narc. Magazine Online

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Released: 21.10.22






Loyle Carner’s latest release hugo is not an album about lockdown (mercifully) but, abruptly removed from touring, Carner’s focus shifted to more explicitly addressing life’s biggest issues. Issues like racial identity and injustice are tackled on Ladis Road and Georgetown (the latter featuring poet John Agard’s iconic poem Half-caste), new fatherhood on Pollyfilla, and knife crime on Blood On My Nikes.

Loyle’s voice feels deeper, wiser, and more introspective than his previous two releases, musically though, it’s vintage LC. Production from Kwes and Madlib brings signature big gospel samples, wandering guitars and head-nod inducing breaks. Speed Of Plight articulates the friction that lies at the heart of Carner’s work, “the people wanna dance, they don’t wanna hear the truth”, hugo (and its accompanying sold out tour) are proof that Carner can give people both. 


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