Polaris // Aitch

Reviewed: 29/05/2020

Rating: 0.7 // 10

Genres: UK Hip-Hop, Grime, Pop-Rap

Released: 29/05/2020, NQ Records

Aitch strengthens his fledging reputation in the game with an EP of no filler, incorporating American and UK styles for a fun project.

Despite no full length album under his belt, Aitch manages to drastically overhaul his sound from last year’s project AitcH20, which boasted dancehall flavoured hits Buss Down and Taste (Make It Shake), leaning towards a more pure hip-hop sound.

That move pays off instantly with the two lead tracks, produced by the prolific Kenny Beats. Whilst Kenny is more known for working with a variety of American rappers, and the projects he has done with UK based artists, such as Slowthai, have leaned more towards trap and American styles, the opening two songs are a nice collision of the two countries’ styles.

Safe To Say starts with a scratchy sample before going straight into a modern grime beat, with sinister strings in the background. Meanwhile, Zombie features some fancy horns and a synth patch to match, separating the two tracks quite well.

On these tracks we hear the first cases of Aitch relying on a repeating chorus, but it isn’t too repetitive at this stage.

Moston sees the same flow from the previous two tracks, highlighting a lack of variety in his delivery. However, there is a nice variety in the beats used, which makes up for the lack of flow changes.

However, that does change on 30, the last released single from the project. Aitch finally noticeably switches his delivery throughout this song, and thanks to the throbbing bass and more traditional beat, this is the most grime heavy track on the album.

Maybe due to how short it is, we also don’t get that reliance on repeating the chorus to fill out the song.

Triggered is also grime based, with a nice rhythm guitar that breaks up the classic grime characteristics. Again, that reliance on the chorus rears it head, but his flow is at its most dynamic on this track.

The second single, Raw, again features a more dynamic Aitch over a grime beat, but after Triggered it kinda sounds like more of the same. I like the voice manipulation to end the song, however, and how it flows into Like Them.

Whilst this is only an EP, and you can’t really expect a coherent theme, Like Them has the most interesting lyrical content. Speaking about how we only competes with himself, the acoustic guitar is also interesting, making it one of the stronger tracks.

Ironically, with fellow grime star AJ Tracey, the trappiest track is left to last, the lead single Rain.

The pair share the track just fine, with a nice level of energy between them and the beat. Whilst the drum pattern sounds more akin to a trap track, the deep piano brings a grime flavour to it. Definitely a radio hit, the stop-start at the end of the track is a nice touch.

Overall, I’d argue this Aitch’s best project to date, with a cohesive sound and interesting beats. Sometimes his songwriting ability is brought into question by repeating choruses into the ground, but this a strong statement of his talent.

Track Listing

  • Safe To Say (B+)
  • Zombie (B+)
  • Moston (B)
  • 30 (B+)
  • Triggered (B+)
  • Raw (B)
  • Like Them (B+)
  • Rain (A-)

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