Written By: Christine Reynolds
I remember the anticipation of waiting for Loyle Carner’s – Yesterday’s Gone Album (15 tracks) and anticipating the album to be even better than his ‘A little Late Ep.’ I envisioned that this album would be the answer to a spoken word masterpiece, and that Loyle would be the English equivalent to Yasiin Bey’s lyrical architecture that is so rightly missed in the hip hop industry. The album is good, but I don’t know if I would listen to it again and let me explain why.
I like where Loyle has come from. His music is deeply rooted and sentimental to the little things that happen in his life. Loyle was once – one of the promising sounds in 2016 and has risen accordingly since then. Carner has a poetic way with his linguistic ability and has collaborated with poets like Kate Tempest who has won numerous awards for her English poetry. The NME have described Loyle as ‘sensitive and eloquent,’ and this is true to an NME perspective, but to a deeper perspective, he is a broken vinyl turning over a tragedy. The tragedy being the loss of his dad, which was heavily influenced on his ‘A little Late EP.’ The two tracks, ‘BFG’ and ‘Cantona’ had all the touches of a grieving – genius, with his dad being the main theme.
‘Yesterday’s Gone’ is a storytelling tale that has all the pieces of the puzzle sticking together from his last EP. ‘Ain’t Nothing Changed’ and ‘Florence’ gained some noteworthy recognition from Radio 1 host and Irish Presenter DJ – Annie Mac. And other stations hyped the Ep and any future material from Carner.
The pace of ‘Yesterday’s Gone’ begins with ‘Isle of Arran’ which pretty much sets the style and tone of what is to be heard throughout. The album had a few tracks that I liked: ‘Stars and Shards,’ ‘Florence,’ ‘Ain’t Nothing Changed,’ ‘Mean It in The Morning’ and ‘No CD – feat Rebel Kleff’ are like tongue twisters; the conjoining of his well pronounced phonology and sublime instrumentals that calm and stir. Loyle spills it all on ‘Sun of Jean – mum, DAD,’ it’s jazzy, and lingers off into his thoughts -then a mini poetic speech is at the end: describing her son – being the sun in her life. ‘The Seamstress’ is so smooth, so elegant, and full of the Loyle sentimentality that he often exposes. Loyle Carner is a rhyming prosaic, and the guy can literally turn an everyday story into a fairy tale explanation. His English theme and motive are to deliver bars that work like a routine check. ‘Yesterday’s Gone’ is full of intrigue and sorrow and it’s a slow – burner, with the fire being set at a mid – point level. He has small breaks/conversations on the album, and it gives listeners a tiny insight into the humor and personal connections that he has.
I would rate the album 3.5 because it’s a nice album. It isn’t extraordinary, or majorly exciting to hear, but it’s full of his character – Loyle’s character. It was a little flat, and after a few listens I still maintained the same feeling. I do believe he’s pieced together an album that he should be proud of, and one that he can smile about. The reason why I would maybe shelf this after a few listens is because it’s moved me as much as it can. Who knows, maybe I will pick it up again and think differently in a few years’ time.