Loyle Carner - 'hugo'

8/10

Ever since he first introduced himself with his breakthrough debut LP 'Yesterday's Gone' in 2017, London's Loyle Carner has always looked to carve his own path within the UK's rap scene. While many of his contemporaries tend to lean toward the commercial and fashionable aesthetics of the time, he has been developing his own distinctive style that adds more levity and emotion to his work than most. And with three years passed since his highly-impactful sophomore offering 'Not Waving, But Drowning', he returns with his third studio album 'hugo', a record that looks to continue his progressive guise to date.

Throughout this new effort, we are treated to more of the same broad and adventurous direction he has cultivated for himself, building upon the foundations of what he has already established. Much like his last outing, 'hugo' sees him focus his sound on the raw and euphoric side of modern hip-hop, developing a warm and inviting feel that perfectly elevates his powerful flow throughout. While Loyle Carner has been one of those names just bubbling with possibilities, it is beginning to feel like he is truly enveloped within this style and growing ever more confident with each release.

Fans of his previous material will have plenty to wrap their teeth around on this new collection as 'hugo' is very much placed as the next step within his musical evolution. And while he has yet to break into that international superstar arena, it feels like only a matter of time that he unveils his undeniable masterpiece.

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