Method / AWGE / Interscope · February 12, 2021
slowthai’s 2020 actions define TYRON. slowthai embraces the role of sympathetic villain with songs such as “CANCELLED” and “VEX,” where he targets social media and cancel culture, voicing his frustrations after receiving many calls to be cancelled after his NME antics. But slowthai’s critical attitude doesn’t just point outward – it frequently points inward, too, describing ruts of depression, drug abuse, and self-hate. A self-proclaimed product of his environment, slowthai describes the norms of aggression and a fight-first-think-later mentality that affected him while growing up in poverty in Northampton.
The album is separated into two halves, each of which reflect a side of slowthai’s inner self. The first half is hard-hitting and filled with anger and frustration, played out over grimy beats. slowthai’s focus shifts constantly on this half, pointing anger at critics, himself, greed and everything in between. Thematically, the beat selection is a bit redundant, with sound variation hidden under drum kicks and bass.
The second half offers a deeper look into slowthai’s emotions, peeling back the layer of anger to find vulnerability and earnestness. A large part of this disc is self-improvement – slowthai speaks about his ‘sickness’ and struggles to become better. The second half finds itself in the crossroads of darkness and optimism, where slowthai acknowledges his troubles but also acknowledges the work that will foster his improvement. The second half also features the song “feel away,” dedicated as a tribute to slowthai’s late brother Michael John, which is a standout moment on the album.
Although slowthai’s TYRON is a slight regression from his 2019 release Nothing Great About Britain, it still has plenty of high moments, plenty to say, and much of the same vulnerability that makes slowthai so special.
Listen to TYRON: