Awfully Deep - Roots Manuva
Metascore
80

Generally favorable reviews - based on 19 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 19
  2. Negative: 0 out of 19
  1. Smith has crafted an album that is deft, addictive and profoundly musical, and it feels like a fresh-minted classic.
  2. His best [album] yet, his most fully-formed, emotionally engaging and sonically rewarding.
  3. A set of immense maturity that never rubs your nose in its thematic complexity, compositional innovation and thunderous thump-beats. [29 Jan 2005, p.58]
  4. A thrilling mix of moody ambivalence and soulful reggae-tinged hip-hop. [27 May 2005, p.1341]
  5. Awfully Deep is another strong release for Smith, and while it doesn’t sport the effortless flow of his debut or the rich variety of Run Come Save Me, its considered assessment of where he’s been and where he might be heading helps the album more than live up to its title.
  6. It’s Manuva’s startling honesty which first impresses.
  7. A stealthy, smoking beast of a thing: hip hop with a British passport and dubplate roots, embroidered with wiggly, scratching sound effects and made-to-measure production.
  8. 80
    Smith's best, most satisfying album to date. [Mar 2005, p.106]
  9. 80
    THe good stuff is terrific. [Mar 2005, p.104]
  10. Smith's greatest talent lies in his surreal, witty wordplay and avuncular tone, and the way they combine to make what could be the usual rap anger sound both intimate and strangely uplifting. [Feb 2005, p.95]
  11. The music is often awesomely original.
  12. Smith’s tracks are both banging and self-effacing, yet the two opposite impulses never seem fully at odds with each other.
  13. 70
    It's protest music gone gleefully psycho. [Jul 2005, p.122]
  14. Awfully Deep, on the whole, is a bold, ambitious swing for the fences. But, like it or not, the game's done changed, and Manuva '05 sounds way too much like Manuva '01.
  15. Not a brilliant album, not his best (that remains Run Come Save Me), just a damn fine selection of mood-groove-dub-flavours by one of music's true inimicables.
  16. Awfully Deep makes for churning, menacing background music.
  17. Overall, Roots Manuva may have a lot to say during the verses, but when his choruses consist of little more than a repeated line shouted over and over ("Awfully Deep," "Too Cold"), listeners won't be hanging around long enough to decipher his rhymes.
  18. It’s a lot of slickness that adds up to little, though, as a culturally myopic Roots Manuva audibly struggles to feel out the changed face of hip-hop; he sounds unsure of what tone to take and what words to say.
  19. 58
    His third album mostly shelves the wit and sui generis style-clash. [Jun 2005, p.108]
User Score
9.0

Universal acclaim- based on 15 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 9
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 9
  3. Negative: 0 out of 9
  1. Jimmy
    Jan 12, 2006
    10
    Pure Goodness
  2. ChickenSupreme
    Apr 14, 2005
    9
    One of the albums of the year for sure as Mr Smith once again matches dub up with electro squelches to create a very personal and touching album.
  3. AndrewO
    Mar 30, 2005
    10
    At times....dark, bright, sad, happy, serious, playfull...but entirely honest. Almost a "Brand New Second Hand."