Nearing his 40th birthday, Rodney Smith a.k.a Roots Manuva has delivered a contemplative and insightful album. Skid Valley, a sketch of life outside the bubble in 2011, ends with the couplet: "Low pay packets and high inflation/ And now they want to blame us for the end of the nation." Wha' Mek domesticises this insecurity: "What makes you sigh ... When I'm trying my hardest, it's the best that I can be." Even club banger Get the Get ends with an exasperated: "I am somebody." There's an impressive range of styles here – an overdose of maudlin strings, perhaps, but there would at least appear to be a reason for that.
This has been written by ME!