L Man stands for Lyrical Metaphorical Artistic Natural sound. What? Sounds a bit made up after the event to me. But regardless 'New Age Army' which is L.Man’s latest mix CD has dropped on on Lovedough Recordings. South London's L.Man has been around for a minute now and has managed to achieve an amazing buzz around him, even earning the title of 1Xtra’s Mixtape Awards in the category of Best Newcomer.
I can’t really work out why this lad is so appealing though. Yes he has some great flows and his voice sounds good, but I think I want more than that. Yes he can touch on some serious subject matter and explain it concisely, but I feel that the major failing that I have heard from L.Man on this CD is the fact that few of his lines rhyme. I have listened for complex rhyming structures rather than your average – ‘every word at the end of each line rhymes’, but if they are there it has escaped my notice. This is a shame because it detracts from my enjoyment of what would otherwise be a compelling offering from this feted emcee.
On the CD L.Man shows how versatile he can be as explores different frames of mind and a whole variety of emotions. Tracks such as the heartfelt Children In Need, the expose on the dangers involved with Pushin and the questioning basis for Father Figure highlight L.Man’s sensitivity and ability to talk frankly about personal issues.
At the same time the opening track Fright Night and the quickly thrown out nature of Most Underrated offer up a darker and more upbeat delivery from the L Dot Man. One of the truly forgettable moments is when L.Man tries to see himself as Eminem and even raps over one of his beats, a comparison that could only have disastrous results.
The beats and productions frequently hit the right spots with Firstman Productions delivering some of the good stuff. There are several guest spots, where the guest often outshines the host! The likes of Dom P, SkinnyMan, Wretch 32 and Mr Hudson and the Library drop on the Hip Hop side and L.Man is joined by Tinchy Stryder and Bashy from the Grime side.
Overall there is some nice stuff on here, but it is not consistent enough and so I find it difficult to recommend this release. Sure, check it to find out what the buzz is about, but at the same time be prepared to wonder why the buzz is so acute.
01. Fright Night
02. Pushin ftt. Dom P
03. Fly With Me (Firstman Remix)
04. Father Figure
05. Children In Need ft. Skinnyman
06. L.Man Vs.Eminem (Live On BBC 1Xtra DJ Cameo's Pirate Sessions Show)
07. The Most Underated
08. Ruff Sqwad ft. Tinchy Stryder, Wretch 32 & Bashy – Xtra (Remix)
09. Crazy Demons
10. Rep The Block (Remix) ft. Infamous & Solo From N Double A
11. Do You Dream
12. L.Man Live At Lovedough
13. Ny ft. L.Man – Worth The Fight
14. Aaron Soul ft. L.Man – Oh No
15. Mr Hudson & The Library ft. L.Man & JSD – Bread And Roses (Remix)
16. Start My Life From Scratch ft. Eliza
17. Rep Your Endz (Remix) ft. Buggsy, Whitty, Hendy, Young Kof, Wariko, Solja, Simba, Flex, Vader, Local, Aems And L.Man
18. Zumpi Hunter Riddim Freestyle