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Just a few weeks after he officially announced his new album (no long, protracted build-ups here), Santan Dave has made good on his promise with the release of his second studio album, We’re All Alone In This Together.
The title of the album, as we learned from his GQ interview that landed the same day as the announcement, came from a Zoom conversation Dave had with the iconic film composer Hans Zimmer. That set the tone for a grand album on a scale UK rap hasn’t really seen before, but, at least on first listen, it doesn’t seem like he’s let it go to his head, creatively speaking.
It’s a pretty major step away from Psychodrama, at least in tone. That, of course, was a therapy session conducted almost in real time, but We’re All Alone In This Together broadens the subject matter out beyond the introspection—although he still shines a harsh light on himself at times. There will no doubt be essays upon essays written about this album, but suffice to say Dave has changed a lot as a writer and as a rapper in the intervening years.
The vast majority of production on this one comes from Kyle Evans, who contributed a few of the beats to Psychodrama, but takes much more of a driving role this time round. He’s not the only producer to return from Psychodrama; Nana Rogues co-produces “We’re All Alone” alongside Dave and Evans, JAE5 produces “Law Of Attraction” and co-produces “Lazarus”; and Dave himself is credited as sole producer or co-producer on several of the tracks, too. As for the remaining credits, James Blake makes a noticeable appearance on four of the tracks, while P2J, Mount Kimbie and Dominic Maker round out the cast-list.
Features-wise, it’s a little more collaborative than Psychodrama. Stormzy joins Dave on lead single “Clash”, and that’s immediately followed up with a dark and cruddy posse cut with Ghetts, Giggs, Meekz Manny and Fredo on “In The Fire”. West African stars Wizkid and BOJ appear prominently on mid-point tracks “System” and “Lazarus”, respectively. Then, adding more soulful elements to the project, Swedish R&B singer Snoh Aalegra comes through on “Law Of Attraction”, while Jorja Smith’s hushed vocals feature on “Survivor’s Guilt”. Finally, one of the most talked-about points on the album is an uncredited but stunning appearance from rising UK rapper ShaSimone, who plays out the opposing part in a heated breakup on “Both Sides Of A Smile”.
Naturally, there’s a lot to unpack here and it’s going to take a lot of repeated listens to really unpack it all. So, with that in mind, dig into We’re All Alone In This Together below.