Albums to watch

The Book Of Traps And Lessons

Kate Tempest

The Book Of Traps And Lessons

Third album of spoken word hip-hop/poetry from the London-born artist produced by Rick Rubin

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  1. 10.0 |   The Skinny

    On The Book of Traps and Lessons Kate Tempest wraps warm words around the shoulders of lives made wretched by those who breathe easiest
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  2. 9.0 |   The Line Of Best Fit

    Kate Tempest continues to be a vital force on The Book of Traps and Lessons
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  3. 9.0 |   All Music

    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
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  4. 9.0 |   PopMatters

    The Book of Traps and Lessons reveals Kate Tempest's disdain with contemporary society while also envisioning a future where it all can be changed. With a flair for hip-hop laced with Marxism, the album is poetic artistry
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  5. 8.0 |   Under The Radar

    It is a genuine surprise that this is Tempest's first record not to be Mercury Prize-nominated, given it could well go down as her best, but regardless, this is a highly satisfactory work
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  6. 8.0 |   Q

    A clever marriage of weighty words and sonic delight. Print edition only

  7. 8.0 |   The Irish Times

    Potent spoken words matched with vibrant music
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  8. 8.0 |   Loud And Quiet

    A project that aims for true altruism and could make anyone wish for a greater reality
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  9. 8.0 |   Clash

    There is a powerful understatement to this album that yields more secrets with every listen
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  10. 8.0 |   DIY

    Kate continues to impress as one of the UK’s most vital voices
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  11. 8.0 |   The Guardian

    Producer Rick Rubin has pared back the effects, giving Tempest’s songs about trying to love and dance through our current crises room to reach out
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  12. 8.0 |   The Observer

    An always thought-provoking record
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  13. 8.0 |   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
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  14. 7.0 |   music OMH

    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
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  15. 7.0 |   No Ripcord

    It probably says something about Tempest that her most personal album is much more about trying to foster community rather than any kind of self-prophesying
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  16. 6.0 |   The Music

    Although The Book Of Traps And Lessons is bleaker than an abandoned warehouse at twilight, it’s often lit by lyrically vivid scenes, compelling the listener to stop and absorb every detail
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  17. 6.0 |   The Independent

    She is a masterful live performer, and when she recites her work it’s often difficult to take your eyes off her. Yet on this album, you find yourself drifting in and out
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  18. 6.0 |   Evening Standard

    The music backing is tastefully gloomy and the narratives vivid. Her commitment to the English language is quite inspiring in its way
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