Ooh, reflective introspection. Kevin Mark Trail is probably better known to many readers’ ears as the syrupy bits of The Streets, because he is the voice breaking up the mockney babble on ‘Original Pirate Material’ with more melodic moments. But not for him passing evils across a kebab shop, oh no, although an urban vibe is still the font of inspiration, both musically and lyrically – unless you’re being pedantic and say that the estuary is not the only part of that river at the start of EastEnders.
‘D Thames’, you see, is a slightly mournful, partly hopeful and undeniably soulful statement, mostly about staring moodily into a river, layered with concrete hip-hop riddims and brushed with plaintive piano strokes that leave it sounding somewhere between r‘n’b and the head speaker at an AA meeting – only with a voice that is smooth enough to ensure leanings towards the former. For all the club heads out there, they are provided with the return of MJ Cole strutting his house-y UK garage stuff on a remix tip, and not before time, mate. If you want things a bit grimier though – and let’s face it, who doesn’t? – then flip over to the Estelle remix, where the leading light of pop-hop makes the beats denser, adds her ‘gritty’ spitting about, y’know, life and ting ("No clothes / Just my tits and my soul" indeed) and gets the soaring chant hinted at in the original to carry the tune to a hand-clapping gospel-lite mini extravaganza. Phew. Mind your back, Lemar…
7Thomas Blatchford's Score