London Zoo

Metascore
90

Universal acclaim - based on 10 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 10
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 10
  3. Negative: 0 out of 10
  1. London Zoo provides the perfect showcase for its colourful menagerie of MCs and singers. And the Bug's no-nonsense clank and grind production fosters a rare intensity of focus on this album's higher purpose, which is to take the eloquence of Linton Kwesi Johnson and Michael Smith's Eighties dub-poetry, and blast it into digital hyperspace.
  2. The cumulative effect--somewhere around being lifted into the heavens by sunrays--is at odds with the continuous black clouds that come before. Yet it’s a necessary chink of light to conclude a journey so oppressive you may just forget to breathe through its duration.
  3. Considering the host of absolutely killer tracks, London Zoo might just be Kevin Martin's finest album, which is astounding considering the man has been making music for two decades.
  4. The vastly competent array of MCs each have their own distinct flow and pace, but very little--from Flowdan’s lightning-fast verbal gymnastics, to Rick Ranking’s slow-cooked esophageal rumblings, to Roger Robinson’s soulful melancholy--clashes in a way that dulls or vitiates the album’s impact.
  5. It's angry and ferocious, but always triumphant.
  6. That an album can match enjoyment with artistic merit in a year that has largely seen albums go one way or another is a joy in itself.
  7. Moreover, as apocalyptic as his vision can be, the thrill as he pushes his sounds further outwards proves to be as seductive as it is forbidding.
  8. As an album, London Zoo is simply more engaging. Kevin’s production is intense but club-ready, and the lyrics are righteous and relevant.
  9. 80
    The lyrical presence and content of guests is what sets London Zoo apart from other dubstep producers.
  10. Q Magazine
    80
    This broadens his musical palette, with digi-dub, moody techno and deranged dubstep adding weight to Martin's winning sonic menagerie. [Aug 2008, p.132]
User Score
6.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 77 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 33
  2. Negative: 11 out of 33
  1. OllieH
    Mar 11, 2009
    9
    Outstanding. The production is second to none and the vocals are innovative. I have to warn anyone listening to this though, it isn't Outstanding. The production is second to none and the vocals are innovative. I have to warn anyone listening to this though, it isn't easy listening; the production is very bass-heavy and the vocalists' performances are very obnoxious at times (in terms of ego, tone and swagger). It's successful for the same reasons Wu-Tang Clan's 36 Chambers was: they're both intentionally gritty, have amazing production, and are driven by strong and diverse vocalists. Skeng and Poison Dart are the two best tracks. Full Review »
  2. May 2, 2011
    10
    An absolute masterpiece. The songs are innovative and interesting, but most of all, they contain a whole f**kload of energy. And I mean ALL ofAn absolute masterpiece. The songs are innovative and interesting, but most of all, they contain a whole f**kload of energy. And I mean ALL of them. Some, like "Angry", are energizing in just a plain agressive, let-it-all-out style, while others, like "Skeng" or "Poison Dart" (which is, by the way, one of the very few true diamonds in this music style, in my opinion), are sophisticated and complicated compositions, not only appealing to the wild parts of our natures, but also the more civilized ones.
    And, of course, if you want to upset your neighbours just enough to move to a different country, buy yourself a decent sub to go with the record.
    Full Review »
  3. michaelR
    Aug 1, 2009
    9
    The songs on this album have an amazing abilty to pump me up. It helps me in the gym.