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Album Review: Professor Green - 'Growing Up In Public' PDF Print E-mail
Written by Thomas Rodwell   
26 09 2014
ImageStephen Manderson has had quite a year. He married Millie Mackintosh, broke his leg, got robbed, was accused of perverting the course of justice, banned from driving and, eventually, released his third studio album.

The quite aptly-named "Growing Up In Public", though, lacks the true definition that his last LPs, "At Your Inconvenience" and "Alive Till I'm Dead", had bundles of. The catchy hooks of tracks like "Read All About It", "Jungle" and "Oh My God" are still there, but lyrically Pro's mentions of Made In Chelsea and popping "mollies" are missing any real personality.

"I'm shameless, young and outrageous," the 30-year-old mouths on "Name In Lights". Really? That lyric could just have easily come from Miley Cyrus.

Example, Rizzle Kicks, Mr Probz, Thabo and Tori Kelly are all roped in to lower the name-dropping, substance-less level to one previously only seen on The Only Way Is Essex.

This, lest we forget, is the man who, against his wishes, was branded the UK's answer to Eminem. The man who earned his name dealing drugs on the streets of Hackney. But on this album? He's milking the pop music cash cow so blatantly he could be called Farmer Green.

Maybe that's what Pro's fans should have come to expect from the artist who fired Emeli Sande into superstardom with his first (and currently only) number one single, "Read All About It". Has Manderson simply run out of ideas; and is his answer to build around a deceiving, Radio 1 style chorus, while neglecting any message to his music?

In fairness, the title track, in which the South Londoner tells the terrifying story of the night he was mugged and feared for his wife's life, opposes that trend:

"I had no idea where my wife had gone, plus I'm poignant on whether he's got a gun or a knife on him"

And that was Pro at his best on this record.

The well-produced but ultimately forgettable "Not Your Man" and "Lullaby" will undoubtedly chart, but from an artist so fresh and exciting even as recently as his last album, Growing Up In Public was a huge disappointment.

2/5

Buy Growing Up In Public here.

Release date: September 22, 2014
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