Review: Human by Rag’n’Bone Man

Human by Rag'n'Bone ManFor a few months “Human”, the breakthrough single of British singer-songwriter Rag’n’Bone Man, was quite ubiquitous – at least in certain places – and for good reason. It felt real. It felt sincere. It was familiar but it seemingly did not rely on all the tropes of the “deep-voiced, all-knowing blues man from southern America” stereotype. It was refreshing despite the constant rotation, so I was admittedly looking forward to the rest of the album. Surprisingly, Human is disappointing, in that it leaned heavily on said tropes. Well, not as much lean as not really move the needle a bit. Rory Graham can deliver a mean sentiment, and there are well-timed flourishes to drill down the “upheaval” angle of many epic-sounding anthems, but throughout most of the album you can see the signposts from a mile away. There are some flourishes of his past as a rapper – after samey tracks, “Ego” managed to be as refreshing as “Human” – but it seems he was forced to stick to a formula that gave him notice. Don’t get me wrong, it is not a bad listen, but you do tend to forget about it. [NB]3/5


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