It’s finally here. Today, Kano liberates his new album Made In The Manor, a project which seems to thematically bring the East Ham emcee’s career full circle a decade after the classic debut Home Sweet Home. It’s also Kano’s first release in six years since 2010’s Method To The Madness, and — save for certain gems (ex. ‘Flow Of The Year’ with Jme, ‘Hail’, ‘New Banger’) from over the last couple of years that help make up Made In The Manor — it’s a long enough time to satisfy fans by carefully crafting another classic. So, did Kano succeed in doing so?
The beginning of this project is the most beautiful thing you’ll year: the aforementioned ‘Hail’ and ‘T-shirt Weather in The Manor’ makes a couple of powerful statements that immediately let the listener know that 1.) Kano is still coming for necks lyrically and 2.) this album is going to function as a crash course in East London life and his experiences growing up there. ‘This Is England’ possesses the same iconic feel as JAY Z’s ‘Empire State Of Mind’, and — as such — could exist as the country’s national anthem for it’s unabashed pride and regal horns-backed production…it’s also a fist-to-chest reminder of Grime’s ‘glory days’ — when “Lethal Bizzle was Lethal B” and “Wiley was Wiley Cat”.
The memory lane continues on with tracks like ‘Little Sis’, ‘Deep Blues’ (which features Damon Albarn) and ‘Endz’, which speaks on family, the roads and spiritually; these are the songs that can both bring a nostalgic ear to overwhelming emotion and make a newcomer feel as if they were right there. It’s the type of storytelling that only comes from timeless artists. Closing out (not including bonus tracks) is ‘My Sound’, a reminder of his Jamaican roots in the midst of a symbolic curtain call…obviously, this also acts as a reminder that a still-young-and-youthful Kano has a lot of life left in him and his career.
Altogether, Made In The Manor is an audio graphic novel detailing both what Kano’s been up to since his last release as well as reflections of his entire life (and upbringing as a youth) to date, giving heavy nods to the streets that raised him and a middle finger to the powers that be that have attempted to hold him and his generation down. This is a battle cry and a victory lap. Finally, it’s a dope ass album and exhibit of exceptional lyricism and wordplay, storytelling and bravado.
Ten more years from now, Made In The Manor could be as much of a national treasure as Home Sweet Home.
STREAM/DOWNLOAD: Made In The Manor via Apple Music. Tracklisting below.
KANO – MADE IN THE MANOR (TRACKLISTING)
2. T-shirt Weather in The Manor
3. New Banger
4. 3 Wheel-ups (feat. Wiley & Giggs)
5. This Is England
6. Little Sis
7. A Roadman’s Hymn
8. Drinking in The West End
9. Deep Blues (feat. Damon Albarn)
12. Seashells in The East
13. My Sound
14. GarageSkankFREESTYLE [Bonus Track]
15. Flow Of The Year (feat. Jme) [Bonus Track]