The Book of Traps and Lessons

Kate Tempest - The Book of Traps and Lessons
Critic Score
Based on 12 reviews
2019 Ratings: #55 / 379
User Score
Based on 63 ratings
2019 Ratings: #216
June 14, 2019 / Release Date
LP / Format
Republic / Label
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CRITIC REVIEWS

100
The Skinny
It's a journey both admirable and extraordinary; a monumental achievement that stands utterly alone.
90
AllMusic
Emotionally, there's a lot to unpack, but the need to feel and engage more deeply is one of her primary decrees, and this powerful album is a lesson worth learning.
90
The Line of Best Fit

The album makes us confront the stark reality of how abhorrent we are as a human race. At times, it’s almost uncomfortable to listen to.

80
Clash
There is a powerful understatement to this album that yields more secrets with every listen.
80
Loud and Quiet

The Book of Traps and Lessons feels needed, not to make sense of the chaos, but to gain some comfort in knowing your fears are everyone else’s.

80
DIY
While this is perhaps Tempest’s darkest work to date, there is light and hope to be found too, like on the tender ‘Firework’, an emotive ode to her partner. On ‘The Book of Traps and Lessons’ Kate Tempest continues to impress as one of the UK’s most vital voices.
80
The Guardian
This record is a living poem that captures the angry tension of being alive in 2019: trying not to look directly at the oncoming crises, trying to love and give and dance in the midst of firesmoke.
80
The Observer

Her third finds Tempest hooking up with Rick Rubin, and the effect is revelatory.

80
NME
Beauty squares up to ugliness on the south Londoner's latest, and a tenderness that previously lingered on the edges of Tempest's work steps to the fore.
70
musicOMH

Overall The Book Of Traps And Lessons is best with a healthy dose of thoughtfulness and nuance, and while it falters on the occasions when these are disregarded, this album is another example of why Tempest’s spoken-word works now routinely amplify well beyond her poetic beginnings.

60
The Independent

While there are great moments, Tempest’s trembling delivery of certain words, with the intention of giving them an air of profundity, can quickly become tiresome.

thomasny18
50
In her Spotify description: "When an artist lists both the Wu-Tang Clan and Samuel Beckett as its influences, it is often the stuff of hipster fluff."

I agree.

Example: Kate Tempest

Ok, maybe I'm already being a bit too harsh on her and I can certainly get why people love this. Kate is clearly an intelligent human being on a wide variety of social and political problems that has the capability to produce rhymes about them over an album that lasts for 45 minutes. That is a ... read more
usedtobe
80
The spoken-word poet-artist's fourth studio record gazes her eye on the tribulations and current political climate over modern Britain with a striking voice as a medium for her words ever biting and timely as ever over simple synth tapestry and sparse electronics that cracks and reaches. It may not the audience it tackles but with her voice as distinctive as hers, it won't go unnoticed. Until then, her altruism is as relevant as ever.
Doofy
7
Not interesting musically speaking.

Also contains no interesting speaking.

It's like spending 45 excruciating minutes in the company of a female version of Danny from Withnail and I. Compare for example:

"I don't advise a haircut, man. All hairdressers are in the employment of the government. Hair are your aerials."

and

"Happiness, the brand, is not happiness, we are smarter than they think we are. They take us all for idiots, but that's their problem."

There is little ... read more
TheRootBoy
85
Is this grime? In all seriousness, this is some of the cleanest grime I’ve heard so far this year. Again, I kid, but I gotta say, Kate Tempest unleashes a narrative that’s more captivating than Dave, Lil Simz, and Slowthai to me. Now those are great hip hop albums, but this is something different; it’s poetry over hip hop, not the other way around. The spoken word delivery causes shifts in the platting of Britain and the cataclysm taking place. Some of the poems, coupled with ... read more
amygoodall
65
good
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Track List

  1. Thirsty
  2. Keep Moving Don't Move
  3. Brown Eyed Man
  4. Three Sided Coin
  5. I Trap You
  6. All Humans Too Late
  7. Hold Your Own
  8. Lessons
  9. Firesmoke
  10. Holy Elixir
  11. People's Faces
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Added on: May 2, 2019