Roots Manuva Run Come Save Me

Roots Manuva's follow-up to his mercurial debut, Brand New Second Hand, initially doesn't seem to have the same mind-blowing impact, but Run Come Save Me is a subtler platter whose charms reveal themselves gradually rather than in seismic outbursts. With his rugged ragga vocals in fine form, and his limber yet muddy beats in effect, the trademarks of Roots Manuva's sound are in place. Evidently, his cheeky sense of humour is also back and we find him comfortably rhyming, throwing in English colloquialisms about cheese on toast and branding his unadorned vocals "lager lout rap." But there is a darker side to Rodney Smith revealed here, as it's evident he's often wrestling between his current secular indulgences and the spiritual foundation of his upbringing, most notably on "Sinny Sin Sins." This angle intriguingly brings some leftfield dub experimentation into the picture, yet he doesn't forget to add instant head-nodders like the Busta-like "Bashment Boogie" and "Join The Dots," with Jurassic 5's Chali 2na. In the end, Roots Manuva spreads knowledge as he always has done, by ignoring rulebooks and clichés as he continues to compellingly reaffirm his own inimitable style. (Ninja Tune)