Runaway – Princess Spank (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

Well, that was not what I was expecting at all. I know that you should go into a song with a more open mind but sometimes names just get in the way and start conjuring all manner of wrong turns and false images in your mind. In my mind Princess Spank is some sort of Day-glo pop-kid delivering identikit, saccharine laced R&B whilst listing her goals in life as 1. Get a million followers on Instagram, 2. Achieve world peace….or whatever, 3. Open a donkey sanctuary, 4. Make cool music. In that order. What we actually get, thankfully, is something far more interesting.

Taking the skittering percussion of the classic trap groove, some wandering electronic washes to colour the middle ground and a set of incisive and insightful lyrics to run along the top of the music and you have the heart of Runaway. But like all such music being made in this broad urban field, it is always the lyrical message which drives the song and here Princess Spank delivers a direct flow of absorbing lyrics that take in love, loss, longing and everything in between, an outsider poet writing sentiments that we can all relate to. It’s a track which takes all the cool sonics and sounds of the past and reshapes them for not only the here and now but the future too.

Because revelling in the past is all very well and good but the best music, or at least the most original, seems to be made as people move things forward. It’s all about evolution, it’s about forward-thinking, it is the way the world turns. Runaway is the sound of the world turning, slowly perhaps but turning none-the-less, and of music moving into pastures new. Spank pulls together various urban strands, skittering trap beats, hip-hop rhythms, cool rap flows, strange, hazy electro-groove musical motifs and even a few sultry R&B tones and smooth, chilled late night vibes.

It’s a track that tips its hat to the past whilst shaping the future and it does really feel like a first, a bold step forward, a post-urban style that pushes beyond the rules and regulations. Ignores the fickle finger of fashion and has no time for musical guardians and narrow-minded pedants telling it what hip-hop, pop, rap, trap, electronic music or any other genre should be about. One day people will look back at the history of music and see this melding of past glories and future potential as a major stepping stone in the evolution of music. And when they do Princess Spank will be one of the names cited in that particular footnote in the grand history of contemporary music.

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