We're All Alone In This Together is Dave's sophomore album and it takes you on an incredible journey. Dave paints the world with all its problems, hiding nothing from the listeners, being as raw and real as you can get, giving us his unfiltered view on life, using just his lyrics. The album doesn't come close to lacking in the production, an issue listeners had on the last album, with James Blake stepping in to add colors to Dave's painting, using pianos in pretty ways and adding soothing samples that you wouldn't see coming, giving the album a crisp, classic feel. You're put on a boat in the middle of the ocean, with the sun blazing down on your face, everything seems perfect from above the water, but only when you dive deep down is when you'll discover the problems, with the pain flooding everything around you as people face different problems everyday, feel pain in different ways, but that pain is what connects us all and reminds us in our darkest times that we're all alone in this together.
We start with 'We're All Alone', a track where Dave discusses his rise to fame while also taking his time to reflect on a message he received from a fan and how it changed his thoughts. The songs starts with the sound of a movie projector reel rotating, something usually signifies the start of a movie which is what this album feels like, a spectacular movie as the songs feel like different scenes, showing diverse areas of Dave's mind. In the intro, he makes us think by asking us what's the point of being rich if our family isn't and compares it to flying first class on a crashing plane as nothing matters if the final destination is the same, money isn't everything as either if you're riding in economy or first class, you're still crashing. He drops an equally excellent bar by saying that he's eating with the same people as before but with bigger bills, referring to how Dave has blown up but he still has the same people around, not turning his back on them. Dave talks about how he had dreams of becoming an architecture and going to Harvard to study, but how he was instead pushed on the path of a rapper, continuing by dropping bars about backstabbers, his smartness, and the women that he likes, serving as a subtle introduction to Dave. The verse finishes off with Dave announcing that 'we're all alone'. The instrumental sounds old-school and spooky, with the drums sounding crisp and adding a whole new dimension to the track when they drop, matching Dave's flow magnificently. The second half of the song speaks about the incident that Dave had with a fan where the fan messaged Dave, telling him that he didn't know what to do and was thinking about killing himself, with Dave mentioning that they had more in common than the kid thought which probably refers to Dave having similar suicidal thoughts, with Dave deciding to just tell the boy to visit a shrink (a physiatrist) as he knew if he got involved and the boy ended up dying, he would suffer mentally. Dave continues to rap about how he's going to make his mother proud, show her a different type of love that his dad didn't as he and his mom grew up without his dad in their life. He tells us that we've all made mistakes and we've all faced pain, but that's what connects us all together, we're all alone in this together. Finishing off the second verse, Dave ends the story that he started at the beginning of the verse, telling listeners that he received a reply from the kid who messaged Dave about having suicidal thoughts and that Dave's message had saved his life and that he felt grateful for Dave responding to his message, making Dave feel like he had made all his wrongs right in that moment and that he had a purpose in the world. Dave's vocals match the beat, sounding distressed as he drops the bars and tells the story. The song has an interesting outro, which could be a recording for deal he's signing to make a movie for his mother. The song serves as a solid introduction to the album as it covers almost all the topics on his first verse, while showing Dave's storytelling skills on the second verse as I really didn't have to explain the story because of how detailed his writing is, while additionally including a message to his fans that help create the close connection he's been aiming to create with his fans, drawing them into Dave's painting.
'Verdansk' kinda feels like a worse version of 'We're All Alone', having a useless chorus that serves no purpose and a decent verse, which includes what's probably his best flow on the album. The chorus of the track just has a bunch of bars crunched together, not allowing the lines to breathe and create a chilling impact like it was intended to do, even though the lines are excellent such as 'I drop YGs, do it like Kehlani' which I found hilarious. Dave paints a pretty picture of his riches, rapping about expensive cars specifically such as buying a Benz for his mom and riding in a Rolls Royce. The production sounds like a cheap version of the instrumental on 'We're All Alone' as the piano does serve its purpose, creating a similar haunting atmosphere, although being way more repetitive, while the drums come in during his verse and are wonderful as they're thin and fast, feeling flashy. Dave's vocals sound cold-hearted, losing the close connection he created with his fans on the last track by a bit but fitting the flexing theme of the song. Feel like everything on this song is a bit too complicated for a banger as you can hear that he really put plenty of effort into the song, using really complicated flows that are just way too good and end up highlighting the disappointing instrumental, while the lyrics are additionally equally excellent to the flows but the complexity of the lyrics and flows turn to a tiny problem as they really take away the fun out of the track, giving the banger no purpose, feeling so off. Would listen to Headie One or Stormzy if I wanted to hear a banger instead of this, definitely room to improve for Dave on creating bangers.
Highly-anticipated collaboration between Dave and Stormzy did end up disappointing to some extent, but you can't deny that this is still a strong banger. I really thought that this would be the best song on the album, but it wasn't, which was probably the reason for why I was so disappointed. The production grew on me a great amount, using a tropical type piano beat, a type of beat I've never heard before, clearly containing the drill elements that you can except from almost any Stromzy track, with counter melodies adding a subtle, spectacular layer to beat and enhancing the summer vibe of the track. The beat changes a bit at the end of Stormzy's verse/beginning of Dave's third verse as a choir-like counter melody takes over from the main piano instrumental which I thought was a weird move as it took away from the mood of the song a little. Dave puts in a similar performance compared to the last track, with his rapping being way too complicated to create a banger (even though I know he can pull it off, but is putting way too much effort and trying way too hard). Dave's flow is frustrating cause it's fire but it just doesn't sound fantastic on the chorus but would've been wonderful on a verse, with his the flow taking away any emotion from his vocals too, making him sound super bland. The chorus again contains cool bars, but like I said, the flow just doesn't work. There's additionally a surprise ad-lib from Headie One on the chorus, the 'One' add-lib which is associated to Headie One. Stormzy's verse gets better and better on every listen, easily being the best part of the song as his vocals are just amazing against the beat, with his swag on the song being spectacular while the lyrics are lit like expected, discussing a few controversies he's faced, carrying Dave. Dave's vocals sound so much worse compared to Stormzy, sounding plain as he put plenty of focus in his flows when he should've put that focus on his vocals as his vocals are what are really dragging down the track, not to mention that the complex flows are totally unnecessary like I mentioned before. Definitely didn't live up to the hype, but I'm glad that they collaborated together as it's a duo I wanted more music from as they're the best UK rappers at the moment, with their chemistry being decent although Dave's lack of an intriguing cadence took away a significant amount of potential from the track and made it into a track that could've been much better.
One of the best songs this year, 'In The Fire' comes along with fire surprise features in the form of Fredo, Meekz, Ghetts, and Giggs. The song starts off with a sample of 'Have You Been Tried In The Fire', probably where the name of the track comes from. The production of the song is perfect, being one of the best beats of the year and is a huge reason for why the song is so good, with the sample sounding absolutely heavenly with some help from Dave and James Blake in the production as they turned it into a sharp instrumental filled with bright colors, with the drums being perfect for a track with plenty of rappers as it's simple but spectacular. Fredo, who dropped my favorite drill song in the year so far, along with Dave, in the form of 'Money Talks', teams up with Dave again on this song and puts in a fire verse filled with fire references, being the second best verse on the song as his vocals are decent and don't lack even though he's clearly much more focused on coming up with clever bars. The transition between Fredo and Meekz's verse was perfect as Meekz comes in with some unexpected unique vocals which had an accent I couldn't recognize but were a really nice addition to the track, with his lyrics being great as he had a few funny and fantastic lines, having the fourth best verse on the song. Ghetts verse is great, the third best on the song as he used wonderful wordplay and intriguing imagery to drop some really good lines, although his vocals sound generic and lacking a spark. Feel like Giggs verse was lacking a lot of vocal energy and was way too sleepy to enjoy, with his lyrics not having any amazing bars and just being basic excluding a few references, easily having the worst verse. Unsurprisingly, Dave had the best verse on the track, dropping bars that really make you think about the problems in his country as he raps about almost being deported from the place he's called home since he was born, while mentioning that the wrong things are on the rise such as hate and crime, while what actually needs to be on the rise such as the salary for the NHS isn't, using some solid wordplay too, with his vocals not being his best but good enough. Nathan Tettey, a director who's worked with Dave on a number of music videos in the past comes on the track to talk about why you should travel when you can as it improves your knowledge and the experiences you'll encounter are ones you'll remember for the rest of your life, being a weirdly placed outro as I feel like it doesn't explain what the rappers are rapping about, but is still a solid, beautiful outro. Pleasant surprises filled this track as the features didn't fail to perform while the beat ended up being absolutely beautiful when it mattered, helping to create a fire banger filled with fantastic bars.
A cool concept track, 'Three Rivers', uses mind-blowing imagery to cover problems caused by politics, that people face everyday. The first line on the first verse instantly intrigues me and puts me on the boat in the album cover, 'Imagine an island where the party never ends'. The lines following it are equally excellent, building on the first line, imaging a world with less problems and worry about money, filled with more fun and love, slowly shifting to a darker tone as Dave touches on the topic of the 'Windrush Scandal', where people part of the 'Windrush Generation' who came to Britain from the Caribbean to fix the country were wrongfully deported to countries that they hadn't been to in decades, with Britain being the island (or escape) for the people from the Caribbean. The first interlude discusses two people's experience of the 'Windrush Scandal' and help us understand how significant the scandal was. On verse 2, Dave tells us to now imagine being placed in world that's filled with evil and is flawed, opposite of the first world he told us to imagine, soon referring to the Balkan Wars where innocent people who were using their voice to try and make changes were killed as the government chose to use violence to keep the people silent. He then moves into the perspective of a specific person, rapping about how he loses his ways after escaping the war, drinking his way into a dark place, leading him to argue with his wife and beat his children, not being able to come back out from the dark hole that he's sunken into as people are now afraid of him and the conclusion is excellent as Dave details the man looking into the mirror and the man sees the dictator that he was once afraid of, being an unexpected, satisfying end to the story. The production on the song used a delicate, haunting piano instrumental, a little like all the other beats, but additionally having a depressing, old-school atmosphere to it, with beautiful strings adding some variety to the beat. The second interlude following the second verse shows someone struggling as he fights for his home, probably being part of the Balkans War. Finally, the third verse paints a world very similar to the one we live in currently, where the many pay for the few, which refers to a slogan by Jeremy Corbyn, 'for the many not the few', who Dave was a supporter of but sadly ended up losing the election which made Dave realize that people would live in a world where the many pay for the few instead of choosing change. Dave talks about how this is the actual situation in the Middle East. A sadly scenic line is, 'Death from a sky littered with stars' which might refer to how the people wish upon the stars only to witness death surrounding them. People from the Middle East came to to UK seeking asylum but that was a whole different war according to Dave as he talks about how they struggled to explain the severity of the situation, with COVID-19 making it harder for them to get asylum. Dave questions why the politicians wouldn't want to give those people the chance of a better life as it's clearly the right thing to do. The third and last interlude shows how many kids are struggling in the Middle East, not being allowed to see asylum in UK even after the tough journey to reach there, being left to die. Daniel Kaluuya handles the outro of the track, being an outstanding outro as he talks about looking into the silence for answers so he could hear himself, slowly wondering why he was in the water when the water didn't even like him (referring to the situation of the people coming from the Middle East), and realizing that he had to switch rivers (seek asylum in the UK) while additionally being about how racism still exists and that the people who live in the same place as him don't like him because of his skin color, making him wonder why he's even here, around these people, knowing he had to help make changes to the society and learn to love himself, including his skin color as it's a part of him.
Might be because I'm not a huge fan of Wizkid, but I just wasn't feeling this song that much compared to the rest of the album although I do have to admit that this is one of Wizkid's best choruses that I've heard, being the usual UK fun rap banger, with Dave putting in decent performances on the verses. The song reminds me of 'Houdini' and 'Flash It' by KSI, having that UK style to the song, a style that I haven't been a huge fan of in the past but has grown on me a great amount over the last year, with this song being a decent song compared to the rest in the genre. Wizkid's chorus isn't wonderful but it's way better than his performance on 'Essence', with his exquisite vocals enhancing the track and helping to create the seductive atmosphere. Dave's vocals on the other hand had the most amount of personality on the album so far as you can hear an increased amount of effort towards Dave's vocals, being much more chill which was cool, additionally using one of his smoothest flows on the song, not being awkward at all. Lots of slang is used on the song, making a bit harder for me to understand, but they spend most of the song rapping about usual party topics, with the chorus only being kinda catchy and being really random in terms of lyrics, while the post-chorus on the second half of the song is an attempt to make the song more catchy but fails to add any value to the track. Dave's lyrics in the first verse are creative, having plenty of amazing references to people like Michael Phelps and Anthony Martial while additionally interpolating a line from 'Rack City' which I thought was really nice. Dave comes back in the second verse using the number/letter flow which works much better than on 'Clash', with his bars being weaker than on his first verse but he makes a point about how the system makes it harder for poor people to get rich and how they'll have to live in debt, even if they do find success. The production is very royal, although sadly being a mess as there's way too much going on at one time, with a soothing jazz approach being taken as the wobbly main instrumental gets drowned out by some strings and a type of piano that I've never heard before but adds a tropical punch to the track, with the drums being perfect for the song as their clunky nature matches Wizkid well. I guess this song was just a break from the deeper lyrics on the rest of the album, allowing us to dive away from our problems when we listen to the track, with the chemistry between Wizkid and Dave being not bad like I thought it would be as they create a relaxing atmosphere perfect for a party using help from the strings and their performances, being one of the weaker tracks on the album but still worth listening to as it doesn't require a ton of focus while listening like almost all the other tracks.
A similar track to 'System', we move on to the worst track of the album, 'Lazarus', featuring BOS, who's an artist I've never heard of, with his chorus kinda ruining the song for me along with the bland beat as it's just way too empty to be a sexual party banger like intended. Dave's flow on these party bangers are much better than the ones on the other tracks, showing that he can improve his flow whenever he wants but that he's just choosing to focus on the lyrics on the other songs. The lyrics from Dave are weak on this song, lacking the cool bars, being replaced by basic flexing lines and bad sex lines. I appreciate the ambitious attempt with the chorus on the track, using BOS to sing in Yoruba, which is a language spoken in Nigeria, not really sounding the best along with Dave, although being quite creative like I mentioned. BOS's vocals are okay, sounding super smooth but with the smoothness removed by how similar BOS's lyrics sound with each other. The production is quite bouncy, having an underwhelming instrumental that lacks energy, with the energy not being brought by Dave or BOS either, with the entire song lacking energy for it to actually be a proper party banger, just being a vibe instead. A trash interlude is added in the middle of the track and I don't understand the purpose of it all, just ruining the vibe of the track and significantly dragging down the track as it's just awkward. Would suggest that Dave stick away from these songs as they really did nothing but drag down the album, but I guess they do get points for adding some type of variety to the album and give listeners a break from dark, serious tone of all the other songs.
An unexpected slow, R&B song follows the two underwhelming fun tracks, with this song being a return to high-quality as the entire song is beautiful and feels like a song from 'TEMPORARY HIGHS IN THE VIOLET SKIES', but with tremendous Dave verses. Snoh starts the song off with her usual delivery, steadily and spectacularly building up to the chorus, singing about how the connection between her and her significant other is off as he keeps doing the wrong things, seeming to not understand Snoh. Snoh tells us that she won't shy away from her true feelings which is that she feels better without her significant other, who seems to just be dragging down Snoh, with Snoh's vocals on the pre-chorus being pretty as she uses a fairly familiar flow. Snoh reflects on her partner's missed opportunity to sweep Snoh off her feet, instead ending up disappointing her as her vocals also end up disappointing me as I know she could've put in much more passion on this part as it was supposed to be the climax of the track. Dave's vocals sound way better than I thought they would on this track as I was expecting some bland, emotionless vocals but ended up getting great vocals that sounded like they were filled with his feelings as he didn't lack on the writing too, making sure to use his wordplay to come up with clever lines such as 'You're gonna break a bone, you fall out of love with me' in his first verse. The second verse plays a little less with the words, but still contains solid writing as the creativity is stronger than ever, spreading some excellent messages in the process. The production from JAE5 was not too complicated, staying simple but still sounding super good as the beat was magnificently mellow, not disturbing Dave or Snoh, focusing on creating a wavy atmosphere, with faint, fantastic counter melodies fitting nicely with Snoh, with the drums sounding slightly off but not too bad with its thin nature. The song fades out but the beat comes back alive for a few seconds, being a cool little ending. Only song that sounds like this on the album which is why it's special, makes me feel like I'm floating and watching the sunrise, being a scenic song filled with tension as Dave convinces Snoh that she's still in love with him and that things aren't going to end well for him and her if she leaves him.
A dual track, 'Both Sides Of A Smile', marks the first collaboration between Dave and James Blake (who's also been credited as a producer on plenty of tracks on this album), with this song being stunning in all aspects and not disappointing at all as both artists team up to show 'the different definition to love' which Dave was talking about on the first track, being what was also discussed on the intro of this song. The songs starts off with an outstanding piano melody, being backed up by what I assume are altered hums from James Blake that sound beautifully plaintive. James Blake announces that pain is all the same, connecting the topics discussed on track one as Dave used the phrase/idea to connect with the listeners, working once again on this, while additionally referring to the phrase/idea “no rose without a thorn”, with James Blake trying to tell the listeners that there's no beauty without pain. Dave's verse with ShaSimone (who's a surprise feature), is one of the best verses of the year as each line hurts to hear, with the amount of pain put in the verse being felt with each word. Dave can be a genius when he wants to while writing, which is what he turns to on this verse, rapping about how his significant other isn't sharing her success, which is turning her away from him and away from their love, slowly losing her to her success as she's too blinded by it to see what Dave's doing for her as everything that he does is no longer good enough for her as all she cares about now is her success. Dave drops two consecutive similar lines about how a girl/woman will make something better if given the chance. There's a ton of conflict between Dave and his significant other as they're clearly falling out of love and looking like they're going to break up, with Dave facing the difficult situation of having to break up for the first time, not wanting to argue in the car that he's in, hinting that he cares more about how people (public) view him and his car than the girl, which is already a bad sign in a relationship. In response, his partner comes back with the perfect response, asking Dave why he wants her to be his wife he's going to act like Romeo and treat this as a rodeo, not trusting Dave's compliments as he's been cheating on her, knowing Dave carries his guilt in the designer bags that he bought her, not asking Dave to be anyone but himself, the person she fell in love with. She reminds Dave that she's got gorgeous features like he does and sadly ends off the argument by telling him that he must've forgotten about who she is, being a perfect explanation for why her love has been fading away lately. The intensity of ShaSimone's vocals increase in intensity as soon as she enters the track until she completely takes over from Dave, dropping bars after bars, leaving me in awe. She touches on topics such as not wanting to waste her 'best' years on him, or any relationship for that matter, reminding him that she's an independent woman and that she really doesn't need Dave, while additionally telling people that if she's showing her body, it's for her and not for anybody else, realizing that Dave didn't listen to her or treat her as an equal, not being a mistake he made but a decision he made, hurting more than anything else she's faced as she'd put her life on pause for him (refers to not growing as an individual). James Blake returns on the chorus, with the chorus making mores sense right now, with the chorus referring how they let their love for each other get lost and how when they were in the relationship, they thought they'd be together for the rest of their lives, only to find that 'the future's just a lie', but that they'll both survive and end up on both sides of a smile, referring to how they'll both be happy, even without each other. The second half starts with the same hums from James Blake, being delicate start to this half. Dave talks about returning to the his hometown and how everyone knows that it's him who's come over to the city, just from his car engine as he's got an expensive car with a unique engine, reminiscing on his old days where he didn't have enough money to buy a home, having to watch his mom count pennies just to get a train ticket. Dave backs up those lines with a beautiful one, 'Now we argue to the rhythm of a broken beat, To the beat of a broken heart' which may refer to the argument that he had with his significant other, or now his ex. He seems to be having a hard time moving on, having to face the words that his ex said, dropping bars and exposing his dark side for a bit. Dave wishes he could buy his ex's love back but he knows that isn't going to get him anywhere, realizing that money doesn't solve all problems, admitting that he had been cheating on his ex with an extreme amount of Americans, being a bad habit that he couldn't break. He takes a trip down memory lane, remembering a moment from their shopping trip when Dave bought her a Birkin and it made her feel like she was better than every other girl, with Dave adding that they could never be as good as her because her qualities were already enough to be better than them, continuing by dropping a bar that hit hard, 'You know you love her when you're doin' (stuff) you never would'. Starting to close his verse, he warns people trying to run up on him, mentioning a few lines about his criminal past. Ending his verse, he drops a few reference including a really good one that shouts out James Blake in the process, 'You can ask James Blake, I ain't see the colour in anything, And then the world got darker than it's ever been'. The song slowly ends with Dave's voice fading steadily as he repeats, 'It feels like my luck's been runnin' out' over the gorgeous hums from James Blake, with the drums coming back near the end to really allow us to relax and process the lyrics. Truly a mind-blowing track, with the addition of James Blake creating plenty of complex layers so that this track isn't just three artists dropping magnificent lyrics about a break-up, but is actually much more than that, with the production not coming close to disappointing, helping to create an unforgettable experience.
Didn't expect Dave to take a melodic approach to his vocals/a track which is exactly what he did on 'Twenty To One' and even though it didn't end up to create one of the best songs, I still appreciate the effort put in by Dave to try something different and add more variety. You can really hear Dave put in plenty of effort in his vocals which actually leads to an above average vocal performance, sounding like something that I'd hear at a musical as the delivery is not too complicated, allowing Dave to tell stories through his lyrics without getting the listeners confused. His flow is quite simple, unusual from Dave but I guess that's because all his energy is directed in not messing up his vocals. Dave talks about catching up someone in the chorus and how the police are following behind and that if they catch him, his odds of getting released from jail are slim, using the phrase 'Twenty To One' to talk about all of this. On the first verse, Dave talks about how it was hard telling his girlfriend that he was going to break up with her while additionally touching on the topic of the violence in the streets and how he was going to send someone to the emergency room, mentioning that there's no love in the streets. The production on the track is magical, with the main instrumental which is made up of a vocal sample, creating a slightly sad mood, while the drums don't really create an effect and are just there. Dave brings out some of his best wordplay again on the second verse, continuing the theme of talking about street life and girls, actually being quite basic bars but the wordplay is what makes them special. The verse ends with a ton of repetition, with Dave trying to explain what he's been through and how far he's come, being one of his more weaker attempts at trying to get a point across but can't really blame him because of how difficult for him it must've been to keep that melodic style going. An interesting fact about the track is that if you started listening to the album as soon as it dropped at mid-night, the time would be exactly 12:40 or twenty to one, showing how much of a genius Dave is. The chorus repeats for the third time and the song comes to an end, not being the most exciting or emotional track on the album, but serving its purpose which is to add more variety to the album, even if the melodic attempt isn't mind-blowing and is only okay.
'Heart Attack', which can be considered as the second part of 'Panic Attack', is a lyrical masterpiece of a track as Dave spends almost ten minutes rapping, discussing significant topics over a fairly simple beat. The song starts off with the beating of a heart, followed by a few samples of news reports discussing the increase in violence, or more specifically stabbings over the last few years. The production of the song, handled by Dave, James Blake, and Joe Reeves isn't very complex, containing a jazz influenced instrumental that integrates relaxing low-intensity vocal samples , sounding like something you'd hear in the elevator, with no drums being present, excluding what sounds like a heart beat so that it wouldn't disturb Dave's flow. Dave begins by rapping about his past life in the streets and the violence he was involved in, dropping an intriguing bar where he talks about not knowing basketball but if his gang catches someone 'travelling', that he's in danger, referring to the rule in basketball that doesn't allow travelling while additionally referring to how his gang will attack the person who they're looking at the same time. Dave then talks about how he had to face a majority of his time facing cases, probably due to the violence he was part of. Other small topics Dave touches is how someone's Somali dad ran away from a war, just for his son to get involved in UK's gang wars and how the rich cities of UK are right next to the places filled with poverty, highlighting the contrast. Continuing, Dave talks about how he changed his perspective and realized that he's got to live life with the people he loves like his girlfriend as life is short, an important message to everyone as they often get lost in their work and never take a break from their exhaustion. Dave turns a much darker path when he raps about his first time wanting to take a life after learning about his ex's abusive dad, feeling like he had to do something as he's a man, worrying he'll lose it as he approaches her dad's house, but realizing that it wouldn't help her at all when he can't protect her from himself, referring to how he cheated plenty of times and took her for granted, discussed earlier on in the album. Interestingly, Dave says that he doesn't support the innocent until proven guilty rule as most of the women that he knows have been harassed by men. Taking a moment to look at his childhood, he realized that he'd taken a lot for granted as growing up helped him learn how much his parents had sacrificed for him to be happy, working hard to put food on the table, making him see small things in a complete different perspective such as how you don't think about the situation of the person who cleans the seat of a public bathroom when you pee on it, how people don't value the people under them such a boss and someone who works for them, and how some people have to wake up early in any weather and wait at the bus stop just to go to work. He also talks about how you need a dad, with a dad not being a part of Dave's life which makes him wonder if that's why he's so messed up, being numb to the feeling of loss at this point in his life as he's lost so many people so far, having gotten used to the feeling, incorporating 50 Cent's line, 'Death's got to be easy, cah life's so hard', backing up the line with, 'I was twelve wishin' that I was a white man, hard', hitting hard. Dave goes on dropping a few bars, specifically talking about how he puts all his pain on every beat and freestyle, screaming out to free his brother who was put in jail for life for gang related charges, seeming to not be a fan of Internet beef as he knows that it's all fake and that if he ever does have beef, he'll actually take action in real life. Dave drops a few more bars talking about girls and sex while additionally adding a few bars about how you can't trust anyone these days as people put on fake faces, calling all politicians liars. He also talks about how he hasn't given up hope in getting his brother freed from jail as he plans on appealing to the supreme court. Dave sends a message to the young people from UK, telling them to not save money to buy guns and to instead save up so they can leave the UK as he tries to tell them that there's more to life than violence. A message that was quite clever with the way that Dave presented it was when he dropped a bar talking about how 'Blue Story' which is a movie that takes place in the UK, involving gangs and violence lead people in the UK to feel embarrassed while a similar movie Scarface, which is a movie that takes place in the US, involving the same topics was shown as empowering and as something 'cool' to the people in the UK, not wanting to face the situations that they are close and instead live in fear, while if the same situation happens further away, they happily sit back and enjoy the scene, not caring about the situation until they actually get involved, with Dave backing up that bar with how the public closely observed the screenings of 'Blue Story' and claimed to have an increase of people from gangs show up to watch the movie, leading to the movie being taken out of theaters, which wouldn't happen if the movie was about people of a different skin color and asking why there's a genre known as urban, which basically refers to Black art. He again tells the youth to not flaunt their street life as it's what'll get them killed and is not worth it. Dave's vocals on the ten minute track is decent, sounding hungry throughout the track as he never lacks energy and never stops putting effort, always coming up with a new mind-blowing bar while using flows that fit beautifully with his vocals. The beat cuts off and Dave continues to drop bars, not being about any important message until the very ending of the verse which is much more personal to him. Dave continues to rap well without the beat, not losing his focus as he sounds just as determined without the beat. Dave tells us he's far from perfect and that he's go to be grateful for getting this far, adding that black people aren't the only people part of crime as portrayed by the media, finishing off his verse by saying that all these stories from his heart are the making of Dave. The song ends with a heartbreaking recording of his mother who talks about how much she had to struggle to provide for her family and keep them going even after everything that had happened such as Dave's father getting deported and Dave's brother going to jail, telling the listeners that she's in pain everyday, hitting my heart hard, being a heart attack.
Finally, we reach the end of 'We're All Alone Together', with 'Survivor's Guilt' talking about topics such as Dave's mental health, his ex, how far he's gotten, his controversy, and how his mother has gotten him so far. The songs starts off with a vocal sample of Jorja Smith as she repeats, 'Fall too far to be wise and I know that I try but I-', setting up the stage for Dave. Dave takes moment to show us behind the screens and that he's not really as perfect as he seems, with this whole track essentially being used to show that he's human just like us even though it may seem like he's got a better understanding of the world, talking about how he faces anxiety, not knowing where he's going in life which sometimes causes him to breakdown and cry. Dave understands a lot, but still struggles to show love, rapping about how he's got to face the highs and lows, the highest of highs to be more specific while sadly mentioning the fact that the highs don't seem to last as long as the lows. We find out what survivor's guilt is when Dave discusses about how he feels the worst when he's the happiest, being a cool contrast, with Dave expanding by saying that he wishes that his brothers were here to enjoy the beautiful life that he built, giving him guilt as he's enjoying it all alone while they're in jail. Dave asks the public if dating a girl with a different skin color is enough to be cancelled as he's been called a hypocrite in real life for it. Continuing, Dave details dating an Albanian and how he was forced to break up as interracical relationships are not supported in Albanian culture, which drew red flags for Dave and made him realize that he would have to break up as there was no way he could start family with her as her parents' family wouldn't approve of marriage, using some word play as the Albanian flag is also red. He adds that he didn't want to break up but was kinda forced to, with internet gossip blowing the break up out of proportion which hurt him, switching topics with a wonderful bar, 'I'd rather rap about arguin' with my girl than ------- your girl, But I don't mind, because the both are true'. The Jorja Smith vocal sample serves as the main instrumental with some of her hums being used too, with the drums being perfect as it matches Dave's naked rapping, feeling like the bones to the track. He goes to rap about a few random things, but then moves to the topic of how fame comes with a price and isn't perfect, although rapping about how he loves rapping as it allows him to let go of his past and embrace his emotional scars. A little later on the track, Dave apologizes for the tweets that almost got him cancelled where he said some not nice things about black women I believe, with Dave saying that it was a dumb decision to tweet all that and that he wants to be better in the future, act as a voice for all black women and help make changes. He mentions tour life and concerts affecting his mental state as for the first hour he feels the love, but then it starts to fade, slowly affecting him. He also talks about how getting rich at a young age was slightly scary as he didn't know what to do with all that money or how to manage it, with his mom expecting him to grow up fast and take responsibility like she did to take care of her family. Like on the last track, Dave calls out the politicians for being liars and says he wouldn't trust them if they were even his shadow (reference to shadow cabinet in the process). Weirdly enough, Dave sounds like he's disappointed with himself, when this album shows exactly why he should be proud of himself as he's been working hard to make changes in the system with his music, even if it may seem impossible. 'I been lookin' for the answers, sure that I'll find 'em, I don't judge an accent but the story behind it, We all know loss, but there's glory behind it' that are Dave's writing at its finest, being three fantastic lines with lovely meanings behind them. Ending his verse, Dave claims that he'll make a movie for his mom based on his mom's story, with this album being the soundtrack, promising it'll bring a tear to our eye, ending off with 'in this together', referring to the last line in the first verse of the album in which he says 'we're all alone', which together forms the album title and marks the creation of the connection he created with his listeners in the first track, once again, as 'we're all alone in this together'. Jojra Smith's vocal sample serves as the outro, while Dave recruits actor Daniel Kaluuya for the outro who sends a tremendous message at the end, talking about how we were taught to die for what we stand for, but that he wanted to live for what we stand for, a perspective no one discusses, with Daniel mentioning that he wants to see it and enjoy it just like everyone else.
Like I mentioned near the start of the review, We're All Alone In This Together feels like a movie, with Dave's story-telling and cinematic production coming together to paint a close to perfect picture of our world through Dave's eyes. Each moment feels vivid, with Dave delicately crafting each scene and making sure everything has a purpose, but does overcomplicate parts of the album occasionally. Dave doesn't cut down anything, making sure that everything is as descriptive as possible so that the listeners are never confused and can keep up with the various storylines. Additions of surprise features and special guests to narrate the outros were pleasant surprises are they all added some nice and new to the album. The album's movie-like nature is what serves as the downfall of the album too as I feel like this album is timeless but only a one listen. Don't get me wrong, this album is wonderful in almost all aspects, but once you experience it, it just doesn't hit the same the second time as you already know what to expect next and have learnt what you needed to from the journey, although the album certainly does deserve extra listens if you'd like to comprehend and digest the album. The songs are so long that any extra listens just feels like a drag, making you not want to go back and listen to the track as by around the fifth listen, you'll know every secret there is to the album as it is still only an hour long album. By around the tenth listen, the album truly does get boring but that's a big reason for why I compare this album to a movie, you aren't going to watch a movie that many times unless it's your favorite movie in the world, with only the mainstream-oriented tracks such as 'System', 'Lazarus', and even 'Clash' being the tracks that never get worse as there's really not enough content on those tracks to get tired of. I'm sure that you'll understand what I mean when you take a few listens to the album and in my opinion, I wouldn't take too many points off because of this problem as I don't think Dave's intention was for us to constantly play this album on repeat as it just isn't that type of album as we instead need to appreciate it for its fine, crisp details that paint a world filled with destruction at its core.
Dave, an artist from South West London has not disappointed ever since he started making music, with this album being an absolute masterpiece. We're All Alone In This Together is a detailed journey into Dave's mind as we float around, facing some of his worst moments which allows us to learn what he learnt from those moments, sharing his knowledge with us through his colorful music which is detailed with complex flows, creative production, and decent vocals that do their job of connecting with the listeners when it matters. His music will be sure to make you feel something deep down inside, while he details his days of trying to act tough but is truly a regular person trying to find his way through the many problems that today's system of life throws at us. You may feel like you're alone, filled with pain and like you're going to explode from all the discrimination, doubt, and self-destruction that you face every single day, but I want you to remember that we're all in this together as we all face the pain that you face, just in different ways, but that's what keeps us connected at all times as we're all alone in this together.
Cover Art- 10/10