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Dudley's D.R.Z, King's Dream - album review

Dudley's D.R.Z has released his debut album King's Dream, full of big beats and odes to his family and friends.

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King's Dream by Dudley's D.R.Z

There's messages about "grinding hard" to "make it big", "doing it for my fam", and some honest assessments about some of the criticism thrown at him since he started to hone his craft.

Recorded and mastered at Wolverhampton's Beatsabar Music Studio with Keith Dilworth it's perfectly honed sound-wise thanks to production by the likes of Dawid Kozdra, Chibuzor Ugwu, Hayes Purdy, Kenneth T, Tone Jonez, Isaiah Vest, Djv, Tujay, and S2.

It sounds slick and will benefit from a big soundsystem with the bass cranked up, but there perhaps needs to be more adventure in his lyrical output as, essentially, we have 10 tracks all about the same thing.

The tributes to his mother and family for helping him on his journey are heart-warming, and his determination to "break out of" his area as he puts it are admirable. But at 10 songs long the sentiments do grow too similar and you want D.R.Z to look elsewhere for inspiration. Everyone writes about what they know. Perhaps now his first release is out the way he can push on and explore himself and the world around him.

Dudley's D.R.Z Photo: @DRZ172/Twitter

Real name Darren Dube, the 20-year-old comes across as the most hard-working of youngsters who deserves some success and credibility for his determination to succeed. The self-produced Kakarot is perhaps his best work here. It comes across as the most honest, with the piano melody and big beats carrying his two-finger salutes to those who have tried to put him down.

Family Ties is one big booming tribute to his relatives, and comes across as genuine in its message of "being grateful" for "being given the chance". Some others could maybe think about this when deliberating on the support for their careers from close to home.

Outcast has a deeper, darker feel with its distorted atmospherics feeling quite close and claustrophobic. Djv oversaw this one's beats and the production is on-point and creates an agitated atmosphere.

The swirling Wonder Boy is another highlight with those sweeping synths, but beyond that tracks start to feel just like the others around them. This could have perhaps been shortened to an EP, but full marks to D.R.Z for laying his cards on the table and making a statement of his career intent.

Rating: 5/10

King's Dream is available via D.R.Z's Spotify page