The sophomore album from U.K. rapper Tinie Tempah took the long road to market, having originally been planned as a 2011 release but not rearing its head until 2013. The rapper's reputation had nothing to with it, as there were plenty of hungry fans awaiting his return, but, for once, the final product suggests that the delay had everything to do with "getting it right," and it's a feeling the listener gets on a first encounter. This exciting box of fireworks dazzles from the beginning, as the opening "Someday" grows from a moody tune for guest vocalist Ella Eyre to hang her Billie Holiday stylings and then into a tower of EDM from which Tinie takes the high dive, offering "Soon the whole world is gonna understand my language" and "Started with a goal, and ended with a hat trick" because the rapper is nothing if not determined. Trap music and 2 Chainz sound comfortable in the atmosphere as "Trampoline" offers both a massive earworm and a floor-filling club track, but street-level music from the U.S. is welcome here too as Big Sean and Tinie creep the hood with style on "Shape." "Mosh Pit" and "Witch Doctor" are other examples of how much cool, clever, and chaotic music there is to be had, but Tempah can handle the poignant stuff as well, and does so brilliantly on "Heroes" with Laura Mvula plus "Children of the Sun" with frequent Swedish House Mafia contributor John Martin. Guest shots from Paloma Faith, Emeli Sandé, Dizzee Rascal, and others make this one crowded album, but figuring out what to drop is nearly impossible as everyone hits the mark.
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AllMusic Review by David Jeffries