Once you've gotten over the ridiculous moniker of this young Londoner, get this: the man born Kwasi Danquah is one of the biggest names in UK and Irish music right now. Like his contemporaries N-Dubz (who also feature here), the 22-year-old grime artist appeals to the schoolkid market - the hordes of playground critics who trump each other by downloading his latest single to their mobile phones and then play them loudly on the bus. Now, here's something else that might throw you: Stryder featured on the last album by New York experimentalists Gang Gang Dance. Such a revelation may raise the expectations of those who'd automatically dismiss the grime genre, but his second album isn't as progressive as you'd perhaps expect.
The important thing to remember about grime is that there's rarely room for musical development; such studio-manufactured sounds can only be flogged so much before sounding repetitive. To his credit, Stryder does well to make songs like 'I'm Landing' and 'Stryderman' as interesting as possible, whether it's through swerving, fuzzy Korg buzzes or his loose rapping style.
But the majority of this overlong endeavour (with 18 tracks, repetition is an inevitability) ploughs the same furrows of AutoTuned guest collaborations (Taio Cruz on 'Take Me Back'), sub-So Solid Crew tag-teaming ('Tryna Be Me') and tracks so laden down with effects that they become indistinguishable.
On that note, it's the songs that use samples that are the most impressive; 'You're Not Alone' appropriates the 1997 dance hit of the same name by Olive, and 'Express Urself' pilfers from Charles Wright's funky original. Both numbers, perhaps perversely, allow Stryder's voice and personality to be heard clearly. Is he a talent that shouldn't be quite written off yet? Maybe. This album is a total disappointment, though.