Kae Tempest - 'The Line Is A Curve'

7/10

Ever since they first broke away from their Sound Of Rum days almost a decade ago, Kae Tempest has been revered as one of the most admired and progressive artists of the moment. With their initial solo albums 'Everybody Down' and 'Let Them Eat Chaos' both nominated for the Mercury Music Prize, they have spent the last few years exploring new avenues and textures to bring to their distinctive sound. And after another a few years since their highly-praised 2019 effort 'The Book of Traps and Lessons', Kae returns once again with their fourth full-length 'The Line Is A Curve', a record that looks to highlight the most powerful parts of their aesthetic.

Throughout their career, Kae Tempest has always looked to bring spoken word poetry to a more palatable musical texture. Originally inspired by a more ambient and sometimes hip-hop approach to their style, they have been in a more experimental guise of late, largely stripping back the musical side to the sound in exchange for a more honed-in approach to their prose. This new collection sets itself as their most sparse release to date, where the lyrical prowess takes centre stage amongst a light and airy production, lending brevity and gravitas to their words and giving us yet another bold and fascinating listen.

There will always be something unmistakable about Kae Tempest, regardless of what new idea they explore, but 'The Line Is A Curve' sees them in a strong and confident light throughout. No real effort to make the music stand out, they simply let the lyrics and poetry lead the charge and create a beautifully inviting experience from start to finish.

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