Who Needs Actions When You Got Words
The latest in the Streets-Dizzee Rascal-Lady Sovereign train is Ben Drew, better known as Plan B. On his debut full-length, Who Needs Actions When You Got Words, the noticeable characteristic that separates Drew from his contemporaries is the presence of an acoustic guitar, played by himself. Drew has a lot in common with Eminem's storytelling style, less angry, more matter-of-fact. At times he even borders on humorous, such as on "Charmaine," where a tale of underage love/lust at first sight is punctured with Backstreet Boys-like chorus breakdowns. The strings are in full orchestral effect on "I Don't Hate You," while piano keys usher in "Everyday," and a choirlike accompaniment provides the refrain for Drew's desperate-sounding utterances. The terrifying images of "Tough Love" are softened by the syncopated rhythms embedded in the harmonies and the gentle guitar strums threaded throughout. Drew has the words and the actions. 5 stars.