Electronic Earth is the debut studio album by English electronic musician Labrinth. Recorded and produced by Labrinth and manager Marc "Da Digglar" Williams at Milmark Studios in London, Electronic Earth was released on 2 April 2012, via Syco Music. The album peaked at #2 on the UK Albums Chart.
The album was released on 2 April 2012, by Simon Cowell's Syco Music. The album was largerly self-produced by Labrinth, and was recorded over the period of two years. The album features guest stints from Tinie Tempah and Emeli Sandé, and the deluxe edition also includes appearances by Busta Rhymes, Kano, Wretch 32, Devlin and Tinchy Stryder, as well as remixes by Joey Negro, the Wideboys, Knife Party and R3hab. The album's release was preceded by the release of three singles – "Let the Sun Shine", which was released on 27 September 2010, reaching a peak position of number three on the UK Singles Chart; "Earthquake", which was released on 23 October 2011, reaching a peak position of number two; and "Last Time", which was released on 18 March 2012. The title and release date of Electronic Earth were confirmed via Labrinth's official Twitter account in December 2011. The official artwork was unveiled in February 2012. The album was originally due for release on 12 March, but was later pushed back, being released on 2 April 2012. The album is set for release in the United States on 11 December 2012, in a joint deal between Syco Music and Capitol Records. Three extra tracks have been added to the release for the American market - Labrinth's collaboration with Devlin, "Let it Go"; a special version of Tinie Tempah's smash hit single "Written in the Stars" featuring both Labrinth and Eric Turner; and "Teardrop", a collaboration with a number of fellow urban artists, produced as the official single for the Children in Need telethon of 2011.
Speaking to Blues & Soul in January 2012, Labrinth stated: "Basically 'Electronic Earth' as a title represents musically where I'm heading to as an artist. In that I wanna be able to make both acoustic and electronic music side-by-side. You know, on one side you have artists like Adele who's very much on an acoustic vibe, and then on the other you have like maybe Justice who are a kind of electro-house band. And to me, what I'm about as a musician is joining those two worlds TOGETHER... So yeah, in that way 'Electronic Earth' does truly represent me as both an artist AND a producer."
Electronic Earth has received mixed responses. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 for reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 55, based on 8 reviews, which indicates "Mixed or Average reviews". Lewis Corner of music blog Digital Spy gave the album four out of five stars, pointing out that while "Labrinth's lyrics are far from groundbreaking", [he's] "the one artist Cowell has on his label who has the X Factor in abundance". Reviewing the album for The Guardian, Alexis Petridis gave Electronic Earth 3 out of 5 stars, claiming that "there are moments when Electronic Earth is nearly as audacious as Labrinth thinks it is". Killian Fox for the publication's sister newspaper The Observer claims that on Electronic Earth Labrinth "has high ambitions but falls disappointingly short". The album debuted at number two on the UK Albums Chart, selling 32,281 copies in its first week.
"Let the Sun Shine" was released in September 2010 as the lead single from the album. It peaked at #3 on the UK Singles Chart, becoming the third most successful single from the album.
"Earthquake" was released in October 2011 as the second single from the album. It peaked at #2 on the UK Singles Chart, becoming the second most successful single from the album. The track features vocals from rapper Tinie Tempah.
"Last Time" was released in March 2012 as the third single from the album. It peaked at #4 on the UK Singles Chart, becoming the fourth most successful single from the album.
"Treatment" was released in August 2012 as the fifth single from the album. It peaked at #55 on the UK Singles Chart, becoming the worst performing single from the album, and the first to miss the Top 40.
"Beneath Your Beautiful" was released in October 2012 as the sixth single from the album. It peaked at #1 on the UK Singles Chart, earning Labrinth his first ever number-one single, and becoming the highest performing single from the album. The track features vocals from singer-songwriter Emeli Sandé.
"Climb on Board" was planned to be released on 30 March 2012 as the fourth single of the album. The release was postponed, ultimately cancelled, and eventually replaced with "Express Yourself". However, the song was given a release as a free Amazon.com download prior to album release.
"Sundown" interpolates lyrics from the 1970 song "Big Yellow Taxi" by Joni Mitchell within the chorus. ("Don't it always seem to go, but you don't know what you got 'til it's gone.") She was credited as one of the song's writers due to this sample.
"Up In Flames" (featuring Devlin and Tinchy Stryder), one of the two original bonus tracks in the deluxe version of the album (along with "T.O.P."), was released as a free download through his website and his SoundCloud page. Labrinth has also published a behind-the-scenes video to YouTube through his channel of the song being recording. The video itself simulates a VHS tape recording with many glitches.