12 Days of Music: A Review of Kate Tempest’s Album Let them Eat Chaos

Artist: Kate Tempest

Album: Let them Eat Chaos – Lex Records 2016

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Many would agree that our current world climate is one of an anxiety and simultaneously hopefulness, where technology and consumerism move at record speeds but things in many ways stay the same. A world in which war has shifted from man to computers and in which the world is at our finger tips even if we can’t grab it. In this world artists like Kate Tempest are needed more than ever. No one in music is able to dissect our current social climate, our hopes and struggles, to show us both the beautiful and tragic results better than Kate Tempest.

If anything, this album is a “state of the world address”, in which no corner of society is left unturned. This album is a perfect although at times tragically perfect examination of the world today, as seen through Kate’s eyes and more specifically the eyes of those around her. As Kate said in a 2015 interview, “When you’re writing, it’s not about you”. Which is to say, at least in her case, it’s about the collective “us”.

Kate Tempest is a rapper, poet, playwright and novelist; to quote an NPR review, “Kate Tempest is a woman of words”. She hails from South London, and her latest and greatest album, “Let Them Eat Chaos” is a beautiful mixture of spoken word and hip hop; over half of the tracks being with a spoken word intro, forcing the listener to focus on the exacting and incredible talent she has with story-telling and words, and then the beat comes in and a whole new dimension is revealed.  

This album like many Bob Dylan classics, should be placed into a time capsule and saved for future generations as a uniquely pristine take on the state of affairs in 2016. To describe this album any further is to do it an injustice, you just have to listen…to the words.