Rory Graham AKA Rag’n’Bone Man initially got inspiration to become the musician he is today by watching repeats of Steptoe & Son (really?!?!). Following his major debut single ‘Human’ in 2016 being a top-selling song of the year, we finally get to see his debut album also called HUMAN as it makes a solid impression and easily is one of the best releases of 2017 so far.
Funnily enough, ‘Human’ is the first track on the album. It is indeed a very strong track and a joy to hear once again. The soul side of the album does stand out strong as the record progresses. ‘Innocent Man’ lets his harsh tones become softer and then the magnificent ‘Skin’ is truly a breathtaking experience. There is a huge theme of mortality and I can’t help but love records that take this direction. The album isn’t all deadly serious and thought-provoking, there are some tracks that is just good for the easy listeners.
‘Be The Man’ has got a good foot-tapping rhythm to it. ‘Arrow’ is the “let’s go to the 70’s” section, it feels like a trip back in time. Though a majority of the album is definitely personal and hits hard, there are a few moments to just let go and almost chant along. “When It Comes To Bury Me, Put A Fifth Of Rum In My Hand” is the opening line to the last song on the standard edition (The deluxe version has 19!). ‘Die Easy’ is a brilliant acapella track, it truly grabs you and you are engulfed in every word that is thrown at you.
I really do enjoy this album, I think it is a great release and a worthy Number One. The deep and powerful tones of Mr Graham’s voice will surely be a welcome addition to the music scene for a long time to come. I am going to go back now and listen once again to all 12 (or 19 if you got Deluxe!) tracks again. Truly one of the greatest debut albums this decade! Rag’n’Bone Man deserves every award coming for him, including that lovely BRIT!
Final Rating: 9.5/10
Written by Jonjo Cosgrove
P.S. How about ‘Skin’ winning a few Grammys this time next year?
Available through iTunes, Amazon and other music retailers now!