It's not a mystery that the world is often fueled by corruption. Whether it be the top percentage cheating the middle and lower classes or insane politicians taking control, the world is over run with chaos. That very principle has made Kate Tempest very angry.
The English poet has released her second record Let Them Eat Chaos, and it's full of anger. It's not a yelling record, though - she has taken an interesting direction, creating a blasting hip-hop record that begs and pleas for understanding. It's riddled from top to bottom with powerful lyrics without sounding immature or angry as an inferiority complex.
The album isn't an immediate click. It grows with you sort of like an underdog - it starts off jarring but you slowly start to root for it as it progresses. It kicks off with the spoken word 'Picture A Vacuum', it has you wondering if you stumbled into a The World Is A Beautiful Place And I Am No Longer Afraid To Die album. The purpose starts becoming clearer as 'Lionmouth Door Knocker' starts setting a scene above a groovy beat and pulsing instrumental. The lyrics are eyeopening and really sets the scene of the record: do you know what's going on around us?
The album is highly political but in a very understandable way, particularly in the middle-class Londoner perspective. 'Ketamine For Breakfast' sustains the image of bleak life in the boroughs of England's cities. That song's meaner, upfront tonality leads into 'Europe Is Lost', the first reality check on the record. The five and a half minute track is a stark slamming of the tendencies of life, the very grassroots beat providing a raw and dirty aspect to the song, riddled with brilliant thoughts and great melodies.
This album is upfront with a purpose - every moment is plotted out to say something. 'Grubby' is passionate, the delivery restricted but clearly full of anger, as if Tempest is on the border of blowing. There's introspection in tracks like 'Brews', speaking of selfish desires while the atmosphere backs 'Pictures On A Screen' as a one-way conversation with herself slowly devolves into a fear of the future. 'Perfect Coffee' has a industrial vibe to it, its big instrumental supporting its dramatic moments as the casual scene it exhibits is dissected by Tempest. The closing track, perhaps the most jarring of all, 'Tunnel Vision' ends the record on a note of oppression - a cry for justice and an admittance to her tire of the world. It sums up the album all in one simple phrase: "existence is futile."
The issue with this album lies in the fact that it doesn't seem to know if it wants to be a poetry reading or a blasting hip-hop record. It's a mix of the two, and a good one at that, but its identity crisis often times interrupts the album's flow. The odd spoken word parts may serve well as songs with a beat backing them rather trying to be dramatic. One example is penultimate track 'Breaks', a song with a minimal beat as Tempest tells a vivid story. It begs for a more riveting instrumental with a beat, the droning synth that punches in and slowly builds with sounds doesn't satisfy it; in fact, it distracts the listener from the song. Other songs seem to want to be poems more than songs - 'We Die' is all about giving love and and appreciating life, but its lyrics don't really constitute a song. The cool beat and instrumental of 'Don't Fall In' is cut way too short, as if it wanted to be a poem but was made into a song instead.
Kate Tempest has a lot to say about our way of life and how it revolves everyday. Let Them Eat Chaos is about corruption and monotony, and how the two often play a closely intertwined dance. Her jarring imagery and provoking lyrics slam the world and its processes, begging for something different and for justice to be served. Those who want to revolt against the power can follow Tempest, but the others can continue living in their controlled chaos.
Favorite Tracks: Europe Is Lost Perfect Coffee, Pictures On A Screen
Least Favorite Tracks: Brews, Picture A Vacuum
Rating: 77 / 100