Heavy Is the Head (album)

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Heavy Is the Head
Stormzy - Heavy Is the Head.png
Studio album by
Released13 December 2019 (2019-12-13)
Genre
Length54:03
Label
Producer
Stormzy chronology
Gang Signs & Prayer
(2017)
Heavy Is the Head
(2019)
Singles from Heavy Is the Head
  1. "Vossi Bop"
    Released: 25 April 2019
  2. "Crown"
    Released: 21 June 2019
  3. "Wiley Flow"
    Released: 15 September 2019
  4. "Own It"
    Released: 22 November 2019
  5. "Audacity"
    Released: 11 December 2019 [2]

Heavy Is the Head (abbreviated to h.i.t.h on the album cover) is the second studio album by British rapper Stormzy. It was released on 13 December 2019 through #Merky Records and Atlantic Records UK.[3] The album features collaborations with Aitch, Burna Boy, Ed Sheeran, Headie One, H.E.R., and Yebba.[4]

Heavy Is the Head was supported by the singles "Vossi Bop", "Crown", "Wiley Flow" and "Own It".[5] "Vossi Bop" was Stormzy's first number-one song on the UK Singles Chart, while "Own It" also reached number one on the chart. Additionally, "Crown" reached the top 10 on the chart. Heavy Is the Head debuted at number two on the UK Albums Chart, behind Rod Stewart's You're in My Heart: Rod Stewart with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and ahead of Harry Styles' Fine Line.[5] It eventually topped the chart on 10 January 2020.

Heavy Is the Head received positive reviews from critics upon release. By January 2020, it was certified Gold by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI).

Promotion[edit]

The album was promoted with numerous projections of the initials H.I.T.H around London.[5] Stormzy officially announced the album through his social media on 19 November,[6] revealing the track list and cover art, which shows him holding the bulletproof vest featuring a black-and-white Union Flag that he wore during his set at the Glastonbury Festival 2019, designed by Banksy.[7]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
Metacritic82/100[8]
Review scores
SourceRating
The Guardian4/5 stars[9]
The Independent4/5 stars[10]
Pitchfork7.0/10[11]
Slant Magazine3.5/5 stars[12]
The Times4/5 stars[13]

Upon release, Heavy Is the Head received positive reviews from critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalised rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 82, based on 17 reviews.[8]

Carl Anka of NME described Heavy Is the Head as "a broad-reaching, genre-buckling romp that – while sometimes overreaching – never gets dull or overstays its welcome."[14] Praising its exploration of genres and themes, Kitty Empire wrote for The Guardian, "The spaciousness, punch and depth of these productions is telling, but it is a mark of [Heavy Is the Head's] artistic integrity that Stormzy manages to transcend genre (again) without sacrificing his core griminess, or losing too much in the way of accent, word choice, content or theme."[15]

Track listing[edit]

No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
1."Big Michael"2:26
2."Audacity" (featuring Headie One)Fraser T. Smith4:06
3."Crown"3:33
4."Rainfall" (featuring Tiana Major9)
3:18
5."Rachael's Little Brother"EY5:38
6."Handsome"
2:33
7."Do Better"Fraser T. Smith4:09
8."Don't Forget to Breathe" (featuring Yebba) (interlude))2:21
9."One Second" (featuring H.E.R.)
4:01
10."Pop Boy" (featuring Aitch)2:33
11."Own It" (featuring Ed Sheeran and Burna Boy)
  • Fred
  • Weathers[b]
3:37
12."Wiley Flow"
3:27
13."Bronze"
  • Omari
  • Jonathan Lee
2:25
14."Superheroes"
  • Omari
  • Alastair O'Donnell
  • Brian Steven Harris
  • Weathers
  • Lee
  • Natalie Jordan
  • Nigel Philip Lowis
  • Weathers
  • Aod
3:32
15."Lessons"
  • Omari
  • Ed Thomas
Thomas3:08
16."Vossi Bop"
  • Omari Jr.
  • ANDERSON
  • Chris Andoh
  • Dakarai Forbes
Chris Andoh3:16

Sample credits

  • "Rainfall" contains a sample of "Shackles (Praise You)" written by Erica Campbell, Tina Campbell and Warryn Campbell and performed by Mary Mary.[15]
  • "Rachael's Little Brother" contains elements of "Baby Boy" written by Cherise Roberts, Eyobed Getachew, John Horsley, Michael Brown, Michael Mugisha, Nadia Shepherd, Temi Aisida and Thelma Howell and performed by Big Brovaz.[15]
  • "Superheroes" contains an interpolation of "Someday" written by Lee Jordan and Nigel Lowis and performed by Keisha White, which is the theme song to the CBBC show The Story of Tracy Beaker.[15]

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[31] Gold 100,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Subscribe to read | Financial Times". www.ft.com.
  2. ^ Krol, Charlotte (11 December 2019). "Stormzy and Headie One command respect in new song 'Audacity'". NME. Retrieved 22 December 2019.
  3. ^ Hussey, Allison; Strauss, Matthew (19 November 2019). "Stormzy Details New Album Heavy Is the Head". Pitchfork. Retrieved 20 November 2019.
  4. ^ Bruce-Jones, Henry (19 November 2019). "Stormzy details second album, Heavy Is The Head". Fact. Retrieved 20 November 2019.
  5. ^ a b c Copsey, Rob (19 November 2019). "Stormzy announces new album Heavy Is The Head". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 20 November 2019.
  6. ^ Aniftos, Rania (19 November 2019). "Stormzy Confirms Release Date for 'Heavy Is the Head' Album". Billboard. Retrieved 20 November 2019.
  7. ^ Reilly, Nick (19 November 2019). "Stormzy announces second album 'Heavy Is The Head'". NME. Retrieved 20 November 2019.
  8. ^ a b "Heavy is the Head by Stormzy Reviews and Tracks". Metacritic. Retrieved 13 December 2019.
  9. ^ Petridis, Alexis (13 December 2019). "Stormzy: Heavy Is the Head review – a bright light on the dark side of fame". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 December 2019.
  10. ^ O'Connor, Roisin (13 December 2019). "Stormzy review – Heavy Is the Head: Assertive second album heralds a man who knows exactly who he is". The Independent. Retrieved 13 December 2019.
  11. ^ Pritchard, Will (18 December 2019). "Stormzy: Heavy Is the Head Album Review". Pitchfork. Retrieved 18 December 2019.
  12. ^ Locke, Jesse (17 December 2019). "Review: Stormzy's Heavy Is the Head Strikes a Deft Balance of Hard and Soft". Slant Magazine. Retrieved 18 December 2019.
  13. ^ Potton, Ed (13 December 2019). "Stormzy: Heavy Is the Head review — a regal gift from the grime king". The Times. Retrieved 13 December 2019.
  14. ^ Anka, Carl (16 December 2019). "Stormzy – 'Heavy Is The Head' review". NME. Retrieved 16 December 2019.
  15. ^ a b c d Empire, Kitty (14 December 2019). "Stormzy: Heavy Is the Head review – a hyper-confident return". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 16 December 2019.
  16. ^ "Australiancharts.com – Stormzy – Heavy Is the Head". Hung Medien. Retrieved 21 December 2019.
  17. ^ "Ultratop.be – Stormzy – Heavy Is the Head" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 18 January 2020.
  18. ^ "Stormzy Chart History (Canadian Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved 24 December 2019.
  19. ^ "Danishcharts.dk – Stormzy – Heavy Is the Head". Hung Medien. Retrieved 25 December 2019.
  20. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Stormzy – Heavy Is the Head" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 21 December 2019.
  21. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Stormzy – Heavy Is the Head" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 20 December 2019.
  22. ^ "Irish-charts.com – Discography Stormzy". Hung Medien. Retrieved 21 December 2019.
  23. ^ "Charts.nz – Stormzy – Heavy Is the Head". Hung Medien. Retrieved 21 December 2019.
  24. ^ "VG-lista – Topp 40 Album uke 3, 2020". VG-lista. Retrieved 18 January 2020.
  25. ^ "Official Scottish Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 11 January 2020.
  26. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Stormzy – Heavy Is the Head". Hung Medien. Retrieved 21 December 2019.
  27. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Stormzy – Heavy Is the Head". Hung Medien. Retrieved 25 December 2019.
  28. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 11 January 2020.
  29. ^ "Stormzy Chart History (Heatseekers Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved 24 December 2019.
  30. ^ "End of Year Album Chart Top 100 – 2019". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 4 January 2020.
  31. ^ "British album certifications – Stormzy – Heavy Is the Head". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 4 January 2020. Select albums in the Format field. Select Gold in the Certification field. Type Heavy Is the Head in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.