WE'RE ALL ALONE IN THIS TOGETHER - DAVE ALBUM REVIEW
Hotly anticipated by almost all UK rap fans, London-based rapper, singer and songwriter Dave has finally dropped his sophomore album We're All Alone In This Together.
The first single to come out of the album earlier this year 'Clash' with Stormzy showed that Dave is not messing around with this new album. Having two heavyweights of the UK music scene on a drill track that's catchy and discussing all the benefits of transitioning to being rich and famous, which the general public who aren't rich and famous always eat up, certainly built the hype for We're All Alone In This Together. We also see riveting collabs with Wizkid, which has a clear Afrobeat influence which feels like its taking on the spirit of Nigeria, an homage to both rappers families and heritage.
However, it seems that these upbeat and relatively easy-to-listen tracks don't exactly represent the album well, in the sense that the themes of these tracks aren't mirrored in most of the songs. In fact, the album is brutally honest, even more hard-hitting than any of Dave's previous releases, and allows the rapper to bear all in a way that may have been difficult for him to do.
Rap as a genre has always been incredibly telling about the struggles of growing up, and then the different but still difficult struggles of fame and fortune, and We're Alone In This Together encompasses all of this. The title We're All Alone In This Together well represents the last two years since his last release in 2019 Psychodrama, and also well defines the fact that Dave is sharing his own individual experiences with fans and the music world.
The album opens up with 'We're All Alone' which combines the bravado and bragging consistent with the genre, but also delves deep into the reality of living the kind of lifestyle Dave now has. In verse 2 we see Dave tell the story of a young person asking his advice: "I got a message from a kid on Sunday mornin' / Said he don't know what to do and that he's thinkin' of killin' himself / Me and him got more in common than he thinks / But I tell him to see a shrink so I can go on and live with myself". Although the story may seem harsh, the reality of it is piercing. The story then goes on to say that the kid is all well and thanked Dave for saving his life. You can feel the conflict throughout the track between Dave feeling proud of his own success but feeling bad on those who aren't in his position, from kids like the one described in the message, to his own friends and family.
We then see this conflict and brutality again on the standout track of the album Heart Attack. Dave's words are placed over a simple melancholy guitar and features audio from news clips about knife crime, and the impact austerity has on young people. Dave has never been one to shy from political commentary, and Heart Attack takes that on but in less of a directly political way, but more focusing on the impacts that poverty and violence have on himself, his family, and young people generally in London. It's difficult to even pick out specific lyrical phrases and lines that emphasise just how important this track is, but rather each story told melts into the next and paints a picture of dismay in South London.
Overall, We're All Alone In This Together, has something for everyone. If you're looking for catchy beats then you'll find them here. Many people might not want to take on the brutality and honesty of many of the intense songs, but these songs tell important stories and make important points about the parts of society that are broadly ignored by the people that represent London and the UK as a whole. So sure, We're All Alone In This Together is an exceptional album, but there's also significant social commentary hidden in between the silky smooth rhymes and thumping beats.