We’ve just gone past the mid-year and the music just won’t stop pouring in from the many artistes we have-both established, yet to get established and up-coming. One can’t put a thumb on them. From singles to full length projects; from beefs to counter-responses, music fans are not the least complaining-except the quality of some of the songs.
Of the many songs released thus far, here are a few EPs that deserves commenting about. These are projects impressively put together and are potentially worth having or listening. Here is a short review on them.
ODUNSI – TOOL (TIME OF OUR LIVES):
It is not a big deal if you don’t know who Odunsi (pronounced O: dun: see) is. By the time you are through reading this, your curiosity and awareness would have been satisfied. Odunsi’s association with music goes many decades back. And in recent times, has been earning his credits as a producer and singer. The Nigerian artiste was the producer behind such songs as Julor by Cina Soul (whose EP is also reviewed here) and Adomaa’s Yenkor.
Odunsi (The Engine) has released his full debut 7 Track EP TOOL (Time of Our Lives). Before proceeding, let me mention how impressive Odunsi’s EP roll out has been. Since holding his listening session for TOOL over a month ago (read it here), Odunsi has been talking up his album constantly, together with his friends on twitter. From the artwork to the inspiration behind the EP and how he is trying to pioneer a new sound (Afro-Fusion), it is satisfying to see the hype matching the sound on the EP.
If album artworks are a hint to what an album would sound, then the blue sky, floating air-balloon, and the rising sun behind a cloud, could be interpreted as the start of a new, happy day. The happiness or vibes pours strongly on TOOL- a stream of various musical influences or genres.
From the head bopping hip hop drums of Vibrate, the opening track-to the Caribbean ragga sounds smeared all over Lover Man (with Black Magic), the musical influences that Odunsi grew upon are very well represented. Other musical influences captured on TOOL include EDM (on Happy Hour featuring Okunta Kinte, whose singing was different and confident), the string propelled ballad Farabale (featuring Dami Onira), the afro-pop (Vanilla), R&B (Uber) and Reggae (Shiwawu).
Odunsi won’t claim to be the best singer alive today as showcased on TOOL. His strongest pitch on the album comes by way of his meticulous production, good writing and song arrangement, and the easy and sing-along lyrics and of course, the happy feeling the EP oozes. Time of Our Lives (TOOL) is like a sunshine breaking through the morning dawn. Delight.
CINA SOUL – METANOIA
Having played on the margins of the musical space for a while, courtesy her mash-ups of various musical hits, it was her single Awo that surely got people to watch her direction. The buzz generated by the song led to the release of other single, Julor, this time featuring rapper M.anifest. The two singles are found on her latest work METANOIA.
With METANOIA, Cina unfailingly bared out her soulful vocals, traversing the plains of love (Julor, Lolonye, Lover’s Tiff), Uncertainty (Mama No Like Me), Regrets/heartbreaks (Awo) and Defiance (Baddo) whiles burrowing the soul of the listener with every sound of her sultry and feathery voice. Her ability to transition from her comfort zone (soulful ballads) to a more risqué, up-tempo songs like Baddo and the EDM Next To You, laid bare her talent.
If anybody had doubts about Cina’s preparedness to be the next voice/face of GH music, METANOIA definitely diminishes those doubts. She is here to be part of the music conversation and help push GH music steps away from where it is currently. Indeed, Cina is surely here to do one thing: TO STEAL YOUR HEART AWAY.
KAY-ARA & KLU – TUESDAY2 EP
When Kay-Ara took a break from rapping, there were those who felt betrayed. He is not as famous as Sarkodie or EL. Yet, Kay-Ara is respected as a rapper and lyricists by his peers. So having him come back to ‘active’ music making, dropping a tape for the fans is a good compensation to his fans.
Teaming up with another rapper, KLU, who is gradually becoming the heir apparent to Dex Jessi’s Afro trap throne-the two have released an 8-track EP, Tuesday2. Not one to turn heads, the heavily trapped Tuesday EP witnesses the two rappers talking about success (More Places, Traffic For the Bank), happiness (Amen) and sex (Honourable). The EP is not devoid of wordplay and punch lines from the two rappers.
Kay-Ara was spot on with his deliveries, one won’t even realize he has been out of the game for a minute. Klu’s auto-tuned singing and the whole Young Thug ad-libs blended with the beat nicely. However, the trap-ful nature of the beats made the EP a bit monotonous even though it is just 8 tracks one being a skit).
This notwithstanding, this Tuesday2EP has some good songs such as Amen, More Places, Indeferetn. And like some trap albums, mixtapes or EPs, you have to be in a certain mood to fully enjoy it (but not some of the singles).
WORLASI – THE UNCUT
It is easy to draw striking similarities between Worlasi’s classic debut Nuse (Strength Within) and his recent 13 track ‘surprise’ release The Uncut; and why these songs didn’t make the final cut for Nuse. The correlation lies in the oft similar beats on some of the songs from Nuse and also the themes Worlasi broached. The organic appeal of album cannot be glossed over.
In his trademark sing-rap style, Worlasi, on The Uncut, spoke about his upbringing (Cartoon), Survival/Success (Lef Am, Okada), Love/Betrayal (No Matter, Razzy); blending Ewe, Pidgin and English to communicate his feelings and thoughts over both mellow, mid-tempo and up-tempo beats mostly produced by himself.
Although The Uncut doesn’t measure up to Nuse, it is a good piece of work released for his growing fanbase. It shows also how Worlasi is still walking the road not many take-in terms of his music style-whiles keeping his name out there.