Kwes wouldn't be who he is as a musician without honesty and shyness, even if it did cause him to name his breakout single 'Bashful'. On the other hand, it did happen to award him with an ability to subtly express feelings so close to the bone in terms of imminent embarrassment, you're glad he's willing to sing about them for you.

It's this, as well as the chromesthesia - a condition that, in laymen's terms, causes people to involuntarily visualise sound as colour - that contributes to his overall sound, and has resulted in his success up to this point. And that particular point is where we currently find ourselves: Kwes is releasing his debut album, ilp., and we're ready to see where Kwes has moved to in the wake of his successful 2012 EP, Meantime.

One particular feature that I've noticed while watching Kwes during his time in the limelight as a solo artist, is that he knows how to effectively build imaginative textures, and with ilp. he's certainly attempted to develop his skills in that area. Opener 'Purplehands' discreetly shifts from a hazy, psychedelic affair to a steady waltz as the reverb on his voice is gradually decreased in the track's latter points. Kwes returns to this blueprint of breaking things down and steadily piling layers on top of one another once again on the hugely ambitious 'Cablecar' - an eight-minute, arduous event that occasionally shows Kwes at his darkest, his voice colliding with the minor-key piano in order to create a disorienting whirlwind effect. Despite its length, you don't fully comprehend the size of 'Cablecar' until you reach its climax and look back. Kwes' flexibility enables him to paint entertaining and ever-changing textures to bring you a long way in what feels like such a short amount of time.

But at heart, you could argue that Kwes feels at his most relaxed when the idea for a straightforward pop song comes into his head. That's not to say Kwes will be conjuring up songs that you'll find dominating charts in the near future, but '36' really does bring a smile to the face as the playful side of Kwes' character shines through in the shape of the catchiest piano hook of 2013, as well as a bass pattern you could snuggle your face into. And despite being slightly stripped back and submerged in vocal decay - to the point where the enjoyment generated by the original lessens somewhat - 'Bashful' still retains its bouncing vocal hook and is more entertaining than a good proportion of ilp.'s second half.

However, it's not only Kwes' need to add effects to tracks, in an attempt to enhance the listening experience, that begins to spoil my overall enjoyment. Adding touches of spice to certain foods can work well, whereas on other occasions it can spoil an entire meal. In this case, considering 'Flowers' immediately follows the eight-minute 'Cablecar', it did surprise me to find that a track half the length felt twice as long. 'Flower' meanders, focusing more on doing as much as it can with its starting point rather than seeking to develop and create new areas of interest. This problem is repeated on 'Hives', which has its initially refreshing surprise sucked out of it by the halfway mark. A repetitive, swivelling sample of what sounds like a pair of blinds being pulled back begins to lose its effect as Kwes fails to demonstrate his usually effective technique of being able to utilize a specific feature, be it rhythmic or melodic, as the basis for the construction of new layers.

Although Kwes' textural exploration begins to get the better of him more often than not, and causes the start a downward curve as ilp. gradually fizzles out, the emotional 'Broke' does stand firm as the pinnacle of the album's second half. Kwes becomes so accepting of misery that he seems to embrace it, "I want to sleep and never awake / Because I'm tired and my heart is broke." But the tracks either side of it ('Hives' and 'Chagall') fail to reach the heights they both hint at. 'Chagall' strikes me as more of an interlude that doesn't particularly break up play - instead, like most of ilp.'s second half, it feels more like a sketch, the beginnings of an idea. As well as that, the dawdling 'Parakeet's loyal message isn't given the most ideal soapbox to stand on as Kwes' vocals are half-dragged along by thick, droning coalescence of noise.

It does seem that whenever the desire Kwes has produces more conventionally structured pop songs, such as '36', it's when things start to feel as though they're fully clicking into gear for him. His two most successful songs so far aren't successful because they're 3 to 4 minutes long, they're successful because they display Kwes competently operating in his comfort zone. He finds a combination some musicians spend their careers searching for: the balance between making a song memorable, and also making sure the process is inventive. With ilp. overall, however, it seems that Kwes has bitten off more than he can chew, for now. The amount of ambition on display is clear, but he doesn't always seem to be completely sure in himself with regards to which path his sound will take from this point. And he must also remember that it's not about how much time you have, it's what you do with that time.