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Slowthai - Ugly Album Review

Updated: Jun 8, 2023

Slowthais Ugly Is Beautiful.

For our review of Ugly by Slowthai, It's crucial to remember that "Ugly" differs from Slowthai's prior albums in terms of its musical style and thematic substance. The Northampton rapper explores a more emotional and reflective side on "Ugly," in contrast to his earlier songs, which were more raw and aggressive.

Slowthais album Ugly which shows an eye and a veiny nose with pensive eyes

How Does Ugly By Slowthai Start?

Ugly starts rather uncompromisingly. It's true that Yum's opening statement, "You are great, you are good, you're a king, you're a queen, you're a genius," tends to tilt toward the positive personal affirmations that are currently popular in pop music today, but this isn't something to sniff our noses at as it's giving PMA vibes.

The Opener Yum Is Intense

This is then layered with the rest of the song's unpleasant synth tone, which intensifies and becomes unrelenting, and the sound of someone breathing in the gasping, heaving manner of a panic attack contradicts their message of self-love. Voices shouting and whimpering are interspersed with the electronics' droning increasing intensity before they settle into what sounds like a home pulse. whilst this panicked breathing effect is a motif throughout this track. The lyrics are constantly changing, spitting out descriptions of a fruitless trip to the therapist, howled litanies of mindless hedonism, the story of Slowthai's misadventures with Viagra (apparently, "I took a blue pill and I lost composure"), and lines like "Smoking weed, singing Lauryn Hill, any bad vibes and they're going to get killed" that might sound celebratory if they weren't Then it completely crumbles, swallowed by sharp, irregular noise blasts before abruptly ending.

What's The Story of Slowthais Ugly Tattoo?

It's also noteworthy that Slowthai, who his mother refers to as Tyron Frampton, decided to tattoo the word "Ugly" on his face to mark the album's debut. Whatever your opinion of that as a long-term life decision, it's a pretty badass look for Slowthai (not your local vape shop man.) Therefore, why wouldn't Slowthai be in a bullish mood? He has succeeded despite numerous scandals; the album preceding Ugly, 2021's Tyron, reached No. 1 in the UK; and, at least according to the video for his current single Feel Good, he has a fanbase that crosses genres, boundaries, and subcultures.

How Is Ugly Different From Nothing Great About Britain or Tyron?

In terms of music, "Ugly" is more refined and avant-garde than his earlier compositions. The music of Slowthai combines elements of indie-driven punk rock, and electronic music to produce a dynamic and surprising sound. The album's feeling of depth and intricacy is enhanced by the production, which is frequently layered and dense. Honestly, the variety we saw on this album is great, going from really hard-driving tracks to something cathartic.

You'll see this evolution on tracks like number 9 Falling. This is one that surprised me from left field. Feeling much more of a King Krule track than a Slowthai track, we see this completely new side to him, which only hits harder with that raw level of masterful production.

Listen To Ugly By Slowthai

In Conclusion. Slowthai Ugly Album Review

Ultimately, "Ugly" is a strong and ambitious album on which Slowthai pushes the boundaries of his artistic expression. While it might not have the same initial impact as his earlier works, this record is mature and sophisticated and merits repeated listening. Although the change in sound and tone may surprise fans of Slowthai's earlier albums, those who are open to it will enjoy a rich and gratifying listening experience.

The instrumentals of Ugly

However, on Ugly, he has successfully created a sound that is uniquely his own: harsh, boisterous, and often painful; it departs from Tyron's darkly ascetic hip-hop and drastically builds upon the punky yowl of his 2018 song Doorman. He can still create relatively simple rap songs, as on Fuck It Puppet. Still, more often, he sounds like he's performing with a live band, albeit one buffeted by discordant electronics, chaotic patchworks of sampled vocals, and dance music-influenced rhythms (Never Again's snare-heavy pattern is an inch away from a drum N bass break; Feel Good's beats are relentless and machine-like, and as a result, the mood they evoke is more akin to the twitchy claustrophobia of the early 1990s "dark side" rave records than punk or indie.

He's good at switching a metaphor into something more down to earth– "When the vultures perch with a piercing grin / And your boss won't fuck off" – and good, too, at puncturing pop's obsession with self-help platitudes. Selfish begins by encouraging listeners to "practice gratitude" and to be grateful for the lives they lead before drastically departing from his point of view with the statement, "Bloody hell, it all turns to shit."

Did You Like Ugly By Slowthai?

  • Yes

  • No

Overall, "Ugly" departs from Slowthai's earlier, macho, and more aggressive style. While the album retains some of his trademark aggression and energy, it is also more thoughtful and reflective. The production on the album is also more diverse, incorporating elements of rock and punk alongside more traditional hip-hop beats. In conclusion, "Ugly" is a stunning album showcasing Slowthai's growth as an artist and person. It is a bold and fearless statement from one of the UK's most exciting and innovative rappers and cements his place as a vital voice in contemporary music.


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