Awfully Deep

  • Record Label: Big Dada
  • Release Date: Apr 19, 2005

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. Awfully Deep makes for churning, menacing background music.
  3. The music is often awesomely original.
  4. His best [album] yet, his most fully-formed, emotionally engaging and sonically rewarding.
  5. Smith’s tracks are both banging and self-effacing, yet the two opposite impulses never seem fully at odds with each other.
  6. New Musical Express (NME)
    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]
  7. It’s Manuva’s startling honesty which first impresses.
  8. 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.
  9. Mojo
    Smith's best, most satisfying album to date. [Mar 2005, p.106]
  10. Uncut
    THe good stuff is terrific. [Mar 2005, p.104]
  11. Q Magazine
    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]
  12. Blender
    It's protest music gone gleefully psycho. [Jul 2005, p.122]
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. Entertainment Weekly
    A thrilling mix of moody ambivalence and soulful reggae-tinged hip-hop. [27 May 2005, p.1341]
  16. 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.

Awards & Rankings

User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 17 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
    Pure Goodness
  2. ChickenSupreme
    Apr 14, 2005
    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
    At times....dark, bright, sad, happy, serious, playfull...but entirely honest. Almost a "Brand New Second Hand."