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  • Writer's pictureKeiran Frantic

NEW ALBUM: namesbliss - Lively Experience

Here’s a release I’ve been waiting for! One of my first reviews for CGuk was namesbliss’s breakout song ‘Iniesta Flow’! Notice I said breakout, not debut. Since discovering Bliss, I have done my homework and learned that he has been grafting for a while now. Doing what all masters do: honing his craft and trying to achieve balance between ambitions and reality—something we can all relate to!


I’m pleased to say the album ‘Lively Experience’ lived up to all expectations. From the intro, we are greeted with vulnerability from Bliss as he writes a letter of encouragement to himself and his listeners. He tells us about the journey he has had to date, managing a day job while dreaming of the stage. Bliss has a way of writing that is refreshing to hear. There’s detail, humour, wit, and wordplay sprinkled in every bar. No words are wasted. From the first 30 seconds of the intro, I knew I would enjoy what I was about to experience in this album.

The intro was followed by a personal favourite of mine, ‘Complete the Mission’— a nice segue from the first song into ‘Iniesta Flow,’ easily the biggest song on the album. So, I’m sold three tracks in! A very strong start to an album. ‘Woi’ and ‘Chat to dem’ follow up and keep the pace going well. There has been a lot of thought behind this tracklist, and it shows.

When ‘wife riddim’ plays, it almost feels like the previous songs were merely building up to this record. Veteran grime fans will know ‘Wifey Riddim’ has had the genre in a chokehold since c2005. It’s the one time the Grime bad boys drop their guards and write a sonnet to the girl of their desire. Shakespeare himself would be impressed by the romantic songwriting! That being said, Bliss has big boots to fill when adding his own take to the genre classic. Of course, he did not disappoint. Bliss’s writing is sharp, flirtatious, humorous, and humble. As the spelling of the title (wife riddim) suggests, he has done his own take on a ‘Wifey Riddim,’ and it is a welcome adaptation. Sonically, it doesn’t wander too far away from the Grime sound we know and love. It’s modern but nostalgic. All in all, it’s another standout track.

‘Lively Linkup’ follows, and this is another banger on the album. DeeRiginal is another new(ish) talent in the Neo Grime space and has quickly shown his worth. On this record, he demonstrates his ability for people who might not be wise to his game. Creative ad-libs in the pockets of his bouncy flows and introspective lyrics. Dee is a threat. Bliss comes in and does what he does best: calmly takes control of the song. This is two friends in healthy competition with each other. Iron sharpening iron. And easily another standout track. They’re bountiful so far!

The album tails off with ‘I Told Him,’ a story-type song where we see Bliss deliver a similar message to the intro but from the POV of him talking to a mysterious young man he bumps into. Good writing, but not a favorite of mine. Next up is ‘Last Week,’ a nice song to fade away with; this could’ve easily been the outro. A comfortable spray of bars over a relaxed beat. The outro itself is over a lo-fi grime-type beat. Bliss is reflecting in the way Nas would have on Illmatic, with poignant writing and oozing with confidence.

All in all, this is a great release from Bliss. It firmly cements his place in the scene as the leader of a new wave. A wave of ‘boarding school rap,’ from the articulate teachings of Wretch 32, with the attitude and relatability of Stormzy. It’s true lyricism. Bliss creates high-quality music that is easy listening. I never liked the term ‘Neo Grime,’ but I do understand the reference… Neo Soul was a genre for poets to touch the microphone over luxurious, soulful, spacious instrumentals. This is similar; the calm nature of Bliss’s beat selection creates the perfect backdrop for his poems to flourish. I’m excited to see how he grows as an artist, and I wonder if future releases will have some soulful elements added. I’m rating this 9/10.


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