UK rapper Loyle Carner has returned after a two year break to release his sophomore album Not Waving, but Drowning. The title is a reference to mental health – a central theme for Carner – specifically the fact that appearances can be deceiving.
Loyle Carner has been something of a darling of the music press, due to the sensitive and mature way that he addressed his family life and mental health on his debut album, Yesterday’s Gone. This project was nominated for the 2017 Mercury Prize, but didn’t grip me on a personal level.
I feel like something is missing with Loyle Carner, I love his beat selections and raps, but he doesn’t have the energy on the mic to grip me. A bit like a British J. Cole in that regard.
Unfortunately Not Waving, But Drowing suffers from this, as well as a stark lack of innovation from his debut. This feels like more of the same with the same piano-led beats and Boom Bap drums as featured onYesterday’s Gone.
Below are our full thoughts on Loyle Carner’s Not Waving, But Drowning: