Ignorance Is Bliss (Skepta album)

Ignorance Is Bliss is the fifth studio album by British rapper Skepta. It was released on 31 May 2019 through Boy Better Know, and is the follow-up to his 2016 album Konnichiwa.[3] The album features appearances from Nafe Smallz, Key!, J Hus, Cheb Rabi, B Live, Lancey Foux, Lay-Z, Wizkid and Boy Better Know.

Ignorance Is Bliss
Skepta - Ignorance Is Bliss.png
Studio album by
Released31 May 2019 (2019-05-31)
Genre
Length41:33
LabelBoy Better Know
Producer
Skepta chronology
Vicious
(2017)
Ignorance Is Bliss
(2019)
Insomnia
(2020)
Singles from Ignorance Is Bliss
  1. "Pure Water"
    Released: 8 May 2018
  2. "Bullet from a Gun"
    Released: 9 May 2019[1]
  3. "Greaze Mode"
    Released: 9 May 2019[1]
  4. "Love Me Not"
    Released: 29 July 2019[2]

Upon release, Ignorance Is Bliss was met with positive reviews and debuted at number two on the UK Albums Chart. The album was supported by the singles "Bullet from a Gun" and "Greaze Mode" with Nafe Smallz.[1]

BackgroundEdit

In 2018, Skepta announced his next album would be titled SkLevel, but said in April 2019 that the title had been changed because "#SkLEVEL is a 2018 pattern. New year, new name."[4]

PromotionEdit

On 28 April 2019, Skepta announced the release via his social media, sharing the release date and cover art, which NME described as a "grid of nine thermal camera images".[5] On 9 May 2019, Skepta released the single "Bullet from a Gun" for streaming and digital download. Later that day, Skepta released the second single "Greaze Mode" with Nafe Smallz.[1]

In addition to releasing music videos for both "Bullet From A Gun" and "Greaze Mode", Skepta collaborated with YouTube channel Colors to release visuals for "No Sleep". On 28 July 2019, Skepta released the music video for "Love Me Not", which alongside appearances from both Cheb Rabi and B Live, features cameo appearances from Octavian, Frisco, Chip, Jammer, Slowthai, Lancey Foux, Michael Phantom, and Heartless Crew.

Critical receptionEdit

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
Metacritic78/100[6]
Review scores
SourceRating
Clash8/10[7]
Exclaim!6/10[8]
The Guardian     [9]
The Independent     [10]
NME     [11]
Pitchfork6.4/10[12]

Upon release, Ignorance Is Bliss was met with positive reviews. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalised rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream publications, the album received an average score of 78, based on 13 reviews, indicating "generally favourable reviews."[6] Ben Beaumount-Thomas of The Guardian complimented the album's production, lyricism and Skepta's delivery: "Throughout it all is Skepta's flow, honed by years spent in clashes, raves and booths into a formidable instrument. At times you can detect just a trace of Giggs' style of emphatic punchlines, but the chief pleasure of this album is how much it allows Skepta to be Skepta: an MC who always looks, waits, then darts between the traffic of his beats. This sensual pleasure goes beyond lyrics and into pure music, and should sustain his career long past his recent triumphant homecoming."[9]

Ian McQuaid of The Independent described Ignorance Is Bliss as "a quintessentially London record, as dark and moody as it is brash and innovative", adding that Skepta "might just have invented a new genre."[10] For NME, Jordan Bassett wrote that the album is "a diverse-sounding, assured success, a muscular record that conveys global ambition, drawing on a dizzying collection of sounds and influences", noting the "colourful, kaleidoscopic and loose" approach in contrast to Skepta's previous studio album, Konnichiwa.[6]

In a mixed review, Will Pritchard of Pitchfork concluded that "as Skepta tussles to find his place in the world, you’re left wondering whether he craves the bliss of youthful innocence or the responsibility of being a voice for a generation. Unfortunately, Ignorance Is Bliss is a deferral, splitting the difference with a series of half-measures."[12]

AccoladesEdit

Publication Accolade Rank Ref.
Complex Top 50 Albums of 2019 (Mid-Year)
26
Stereogum Top 50 Albums of 2019 (Mid-Year)
47

Track listingEdit

Credits adapted from ASCAP.[15]

No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
1."Bullet from a Gun"
2:51
2."Greaze Mode" (featuring Nafe Smallz)
  • Adenuga
  • Nathan Adams
  • Clayton Gavin
  • Andrew Mair
  • Vonkeli Williams
Skepta2:48
3."Redrum" (featuring Key!)
  • Adenuga
  • Marquis Whittaker
Skepta3:55
4."No Sleep"AdenugaSkepta3:11
5."What Do You Mean?" (featuring J Hus)
  • Skepta
  • iO
3:31
6."Going Through It"
  • Adenuga
  • Stewart Mullings
3:14
7."Same Old Story"AdenugaSkepta3:20
8."Love Me Not" (featuring Cheb Rabi and B Live)
Skepta3:23
9."Animal Instinct" (featuring Lancey Foux)
  • Adenuga
  • Lancey Foux
  • Skepta
  • Trench
3:09
10."Glow in the Dark" (featuring Lay-Z and Wizkid)
  • Ragz Originale
2:55
11."You Wish"AdenugaSkepta2:46
12."Gangsta" (featuring Boy Better Know)
Skepta3:19
13."Pure Water"AdenugaSkepta3:11
Total length:41:33

Sample credits

ChartsEdit

Chart (2019) Peak
position
Australian Albums (ARIA)[18] 15
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[19] 67
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[20] 17
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)[21] 185
Canadian Albums (Billboard)[22] 67
Czech Albums (ČNS IFPI)[23] 98
Danish Albums (Hitlisten)[24] 21
Dutch Albums (Album Top 100)[25] 14
French Albums (SNEP)[26] 125
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[27] 68
Irish Albums (IRMA)[28] 6
Lithuanian Albums (AGATA)[29] 13
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)[30] 23
Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)[31] 38
Scottish Albums (OCC)[32] 33
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[33] 26
UK Albums (OCC)[34] 2
UK R&B Albums (OCC)[35] 1

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d "Skepta teases new album with 'Bullet From A Gun' and 'Greaze Mode'". Fact. 10 May 2019. Retrieved 11 May 2019.
  2. ^ Keith, James (29 July 2019). "Skepta Shares Slick, Star-Studded Video For "Love Me Not" With Cheb Rabi And B Live". Complex. Retrieved 29 July 2019.
  3. ^ Minsker, Evan (28 April 2019). "Skepta Announces New Album Ignorance Is Bliss". Pitchfork. Retrieved 29 April 2019.
  4. ^ Ivey, Justin (28 April 2019). "Skepta Announces 'Ignorance Is Bliss' Album". HipHopDX. Retrieved 29 April 2019.
  5. ^ Skinner, Tom (28 April 2019). "Skepta announces new album 'Ignorance Is Bliss'". NME. Retrieved 29 April 2019.
  6. ^ a b c "Ignorance Is Bliss by Skepta". Metacritic. Retrieved 1 June 2019.
  7. ^ Bishop, Aaron (1 June 2019). "Clash Magazine Review". Clash. Retrieved 25 June 2019.
  8. ^ Harmony, Anna (10 June 2019). "Exclaim! Review". Exclaim!. Retrieved 25 June 2019.
  9. ^ a b Beaumont-Thomas, Ben (31 May 2019). "Skepta: Ignorance is Bliss review – sex, guns and man bags from grime's prodigal son". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 June 2019.
  10. ^ a b Ian McQuaid (31 May 2019). "Skepta: Ignorance is Bliss review – sex, guns and man bags from grime's prodigal son". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 June 2019.
  11. ^ Bassett, Jordan (31 May 2019). "Skepta – 'Ignorance Is Bliss' review". NME. Retrieved 1 June 2019.
  12. ^ a b Pritchard, Will (31 May 2019). "Skepta: Ignorance Is Bliss". Pitchfork. Retrieved 1 June 2019.
  13. ^ Skelton, Eric (8 June 2019). "Best Albums of 2019 (So Far)". Complex. Retrieved 25 June 2019.
  14. ^ "Best 2019 Albums So Far". Stereogum. 11 June 2019. Retrieved 25 June 2019.
  15. ^ "ACE Repertory". www.ascap.com. Retrieved 1 July 2019.
  16. ^ Bassett, Jordan. "Skepta – 'Ignorance Is Bliss' review". NME. Retrieved 31 May 2019.
  17. ^ "First Stream: New Music From Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus, Cardi B and More". Billboard. Retrieved 31 May 2019.
  18. ^ "Australiancharts.com – Skepta – Ignorance Is Bliss". Hung Medien. Retrieved 8 June 2019.
  19. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Skepta – Ignorance Is Bliss" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 13 June 2019.
  20. ^ "Ultratop.be – Skepta – Ignorance Is Bliss" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 7 June 2019.
  21. ^ "Ultratop.be – Skepta – Ignorance Is Bliss" (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved 7 June 2019.
  22. ^ "Skepta Chart History (Canadian Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved 11 June 2019.
  23. ^ "Czech Albums – Top 100". ČNS IFPI. Note: On the chart page, select 201923 on the field besides the word "Zobrazit", and then click over the word to retrieve the correct chart data. Retrieved 11 June 2019.
  24. ^ "Danishcharts.dk – Skepta – Ignorance Is Bliss". Hung Medien. Retrieved 12 June 2019.
  25. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Skepta – Ignorance Is Bliss" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 7 June 2019.
  26. ^ "Lescharts.com – Skepta – Ignorance Is Bliss". Hung Medien. Retrieved 11 June 2019.
  27. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Skepta – Ignorance Is Bliss" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 7 June 2019.
  28. ^ "Irish-charts.com – Discography Skepta". Hung Medien. Retrieved 8 June 2019.
  29. ^ "Savaitės klausomiausi (TOP 100)" (in Lithuanian). AGATA. 6 June 2019. Retrieved 3 December 2019.
  30. ^ "Charts.nz – Skepta – Ignorance Is Bliss". Hung Medien. Retrieved 7 June 2019.
  31. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Skepta – Ignorance Is Bliss". Hung Medien. Retrieved 8 June 2019.
  32. ^ "Official Scottish Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 8 June 2019.
  33. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Skepta – Ignorance Is Bliss". Hung Medien. Retrieved 12 June 2019.
  34. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 8 June 2019.
  35. ^ "Official R&B Albums Chart Top 40". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 11 July 2019.