November 12, 2012

Filthy Music Review - 'Plan B: iLL Manors'

Plan B – Ill Manors: Music from and inspired by the Original Motion Picture

Review by Jude Felton

Ben Drew, aka Plan B, has appeared in a few movies in recent years, such as Adulthood, Harry Brown and the upcoming The Sweeney, but with Ill Manors he has turned his talents to directing. Unfortunately the film does not at present have a US release, although I will be picking up an import copy in the near future, of which I will then review. Having listened to this soundtrack though you will get a very good idea of how the film plays out, and it is brutal stuff.

Despite the fact that the majority of music I listen to would fall under the umbrella label of Metal, I do also like to listen to Rap on occasion. Granted, I am fairly picky about it and am not interested in the ‘bitches’ and ‘ho’s’ variety; it’s boring and has been done to death. Plan B’s Ill Manors soundtrack is a very different beast.

From the opening blast of iLL Manors through to album closer Falling Down, Plan B spits out an ugly vision of the East End of London, which drugs and violence being rife, resulting in a scathing look at 21st Century England. Each song tells a story and relates to events in the film, complete with sound bites from the film itself. There isn’t a weak song on the album, with each having its own identity.

Mixed in with the quite phenomenal rapping is some beautifully soulful singing, as well as some guest vocalists. Due to its origins (London’s East End) I might hesitate a guess that some of the lyrical content might be lost on American listeners; there’s a lot of slang here, all delivered in a thick East End accent. To that I just say Google the lyrics, as I am sure they are out there, and sit back and enjoy this vicious and supremely well-crafted piece of urban poetry.

Personal favorite tracks of mine would be iLL Manors, the bleak Drug Dealer and Pity the Plight, complete with the Northern vocal charms of poet John Cooper Clarke. An outstanding album that stands perfectly well on its own, as well as being a soundtrack album.


1. 'iLL Manors'
2. 'I Am The Narrator'
3. 'Drug Dealer' (feat. Takura Tendayi)
4. 'Playing with Fire' (feat. Labrinth)
5. 'Deepest Shame'
6. 'Pity The Plight' (feat. John Cooper Clarke)
7. 'Lost My Way'
8. 'The Runaway'
9. 'Great Day for a Murder'
10. 'Live Once' (feat. Kano)
11. 'Falling Down'

Plan B iLL Manors Soundtrack is available now from Atlantic Records.

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