Chase and Status ‘No More Idols’

Chase & Status No More Idols album cover

It’s hard to ignore the colossal impact the d’n’b/dubstep duo Chase and Status have had on music, both in Britain and on a global scale, in the past 18 months. From producing smash hit heavyweights like Rihanna and Snoop Dogg, with Drake and Jay-Z in the pipeline, Saul Milton and Will Kennard return with a sophomore album of such depth and variety that the claim they will be at the heart of dubstep’s expansion into America is no exaggeration.

No More Idols is symbolic of the pair’s foothold in the global music scene and stands to represent the who’s who in contemporary British R’n’B, dance and pop whilst it’s at it. No less than 13 of the 15 tracks feature an established or blossoming artist. From Plan B and Dizzee Rascal to Cee Lo Green and Tinie Tempah, No More Idols is a title indicative of Chase and Status’ widespread popularity with fans and famous faces alike.

The album opener No Problem is an intriguing way to kick off a piece of work that ventures into the depths of grime, dubstep, drum ‘n’ bass and pop. Hints of Prodigy-inspired experimentalism shine through and otherwise lively, tried and tested bed of drum ‘n’ bass sounds. One might be fooled into thinking Chase and Status have yet to fully embrace their ability to work in a bucket-load of genres although, by the end, this is most certainly not the case.

The final track, one of which most fans will be familiar with, End Credits (Ft. Plan B) is a brilliantly constructed movement from soulful, acoustic track to a beat-laden pop scorcher. The same goes for Let You Go (Ft. Mali) which sounds ready-made for the dancefloor with a great mix of pop and dubstep bassline rhythms. The vocals add that club-friendly element and with an infectious chorus it seems the duo have already covered their bases in terms of mass pop appeal.

The Chase and Status faithful need not panic that the pair have “sold out” though as two of the album’s singles follow in quick succession proving they still have a knack for huge dubstep production. Blind Faith (Ft. Liam Bailey) eases you in whilst Hypest Hype (Ft. Tempa T) pounds the message home. Aggressive, in-your-face and unrelenting, Hypest Hype is as much a crowd-pleaser as it is a statement that the gargantuan dubstep track Saxon wasn’t a fluke.

When Heavy featuring the latest British pop-prince Dizzee Rascal rolls around things get really interesting. A return to blistering lyrical form may have lifelong Boy In Da Corner fans praising Chase and Status for bringing back ‘the real Dizzee’ after a succession of chart-friendly pop songs. Grime and dubstep have been forging a clear and complimentary marriage for a couple of years now and this is testament to that movement with Dizzee’s original grime approach mixed with a thundering dubstep rhythm.

Flashing Lights (Ft. Sub Focus and Takura) is reminiscent of the band’s dubstep hit Saxon, except this time opting for some catchy vocals courtesy of Sub Focus and Takura making for an all round more appealing track. The album is then peppered with tracks that please purists and pop fans alike. Time (Ft. Delilah) opens with a gentle vocal delivery from Delilah before jumping two-footed into a sure-to-be d’n’b club classic whilst Hocus Pocus is simply a colossal thoroughbred drum ‘n’ bass track with early 90’s jungle running through its centre.

To round off an album that is almost overflowing with featured artists Hitz featuring Tinie Tempah is potentially the weakest of the lot. It leans heavily in the favour of Tinie’s style and abandons little of Chase and Status’ own. The production is fairly generic and bland bar the vocal sample at the beginning which announces “I make hits. Not the public. I tell the DJ’s what to play. Understand?”

No More Idols is a landmark chapter in the Chase and Status story bringing together the best of British whilst delivering the tried and tested talent of the duo themselves. With variety and consistency in abundance there’s little doubt this album is going to define the genres of dubstep, drum ‘n’ bass and R’n’B in 2011.

No More Idols is released on 31st January 2011

Pre-order the album from iTunes here

Official ‘Blind Faith’ video featuring Liam Bailey