Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category

After a couple of failed singles which questioned splitting with former manager Mathew Knowles & label Columbia, things took a favourable turn for Kelly Rowland when she released the Lil’ Wayne assisted ‘Motivation’ before fans, haters and critics could finishing eating up the Urban Hit; Ms. Kelly announced the title, release date and released the tracklisting of her 4th studio album “Here I Am”.
Many wondered if she could hold her own as former band-mate and Pop heavyweight Beyoncé was releasing her own LP “#4”lop close to her release date. Shockingly the Stole singer literally stole the show; as Here I Am shows Kelly in her control moment, from opening with the banging ‘I’m Dat Chick’, which reassures the listener that she is not a force to be taken likely to the diverse cast of producers & MCs; Lil Playy makes a guest appearance on the second number ‘Work It Man’, although the song may seems unmemorable it works and is followed by #whoaLOVER when you call my name” that is all I’m going to say. Crafted for radio, ‘Lay It On Me’ features rapper Big Sean along with the soothing ‘Feelin Me Right Now’ and fan favourite ‘Turn It Up’ cements the album as a winner.
The brilliant R&B/Hip Hop cuts comes to a climatic ends with the ‘Dance-Duo’, the David Guetta produced dance floor commanding ‘Commander’ & the Red-One, Jimmy Jokers & The W.A.V.s produced ‘Down For Whatever’ which sounds like fusion of Usher’s ‘More’ & Jennifer Lopez’s ‘One The Floor’.
The aggressiveness, confidence & arrogance that eludes from her pipes does more than out-rightly selling the package, it makes the record a top contender in the race for 2011’s Best R&B Album.
Must Listen: Turn It Up, Down For Whatever, I’m Dat Chick, Feelin Me Right Now & All of the Night featuring Rico Love.

#Random In November, coinciding with Kelendria appearance as a judge of X- Factor U.K the album will be re-released with a different tracklisting & new songs to cater to the needs of her European/Dance fans in particular.

Posted by @Ogagus

@DharkDare once again puts pen to pen, but this time to narrate his tale about the Superstar Fever, this is what his ink unveiled:

Wizkid’s debut LP was anticipated; erase that, it was hungered for… People asked “When will this boy drop his album sef?” and got blank stares from headphone-wearing (WizKid-blasting) friends.
Finally about two weeks ago, Wizkid broke the silence by teasing fans with the title of the album Superstar (really?), followed closely by the weird psychedelic album cover. I gave the blankest stare of my life and my fingers were crossed so tightly. Not long after I stumbled on a YouTube video of DJ Jimmy Jatt’s Jump-Off with Dayo; skinny and eager was on the mic dropping engaging bars and it made me wonder why try to come out as a total singer when you could give young Nigerian rappers a run for their collective money?
A big fat album launch was set up and featured huge names: His protégé; Banky W, Wande Coal to mention two. It seemed to be a success from the few tweets I skimmed. I quickly ran and bought my copy from *name withheld for safety purposes*. I wasn’t giddy or anything just expecting at least something cool from the Don’t Dull singer.

Play was pressed, and the chanty hip-hop flavoured ‘Say My Name’ comes on, quickly followed by ‘No Lele’ where Wizkid delivers on a crazy beat, no less I dance but I could not but take note that he ranted HE IS FROM THE GHETTO/GUTTER *reserves comment*.
‘Scatter the Floor’ is different, not something you will expect from the youngster as the tune combines the stadium feel of a pop anthem with Nigerian instrumentation, nonetheless Wiz hits the nail on the head on this one, despite his below average vocal performance. ‘Pakurumo’ is a decent song following the name drop-a-girl trend, that rising Nigerian artistes are fond off all over a tribal Ten-Ten beat.
‘Slow Whine’ which features Banky W, is just another song with commendable guitar riffs, then I encountered ‘Love My Baby’ yet another beat driven song that lets the ‘superstar’ flex his weak voice a little. As I hear the KnightHouse call in the next song, my expectation grew to be met with a banging and rich instrumentation but Wizkid ain’t no Chris Brown, the singing just evades him, like it does us mediocre singers when we try to sound like John Legend in the bathroom; his vocal defects are bared on this song and I sit through it, agony on my face. Awarding winning producer J-Sleek is to be commended for ‘Oluwalomi’ sung in Yoruba meaning “God Uses Me” rides along on kongas and something that sounds like a trumpet. It’s entirely fun to listen to (it’s also the generic ‘God’ song).

‘EME Boyz’ with guestings from Skales and Banky W wants to be a really great showing of their group power and does a really average job of it. Yet another high point which should not be over looked is ‘For Me’ with Wande Coal who literally steals the show. The 17 tracks album seemed never ending with unnecessary songs but finally comes to an ends with the previously leaked banger ‘Wiz Party’.
At the end, all the hunger for a Wizkid album seems wasted. I really want to call this album; a genre-less mish-mash of wondrous production and poor vocal work, but it is NOT a bad album though, it’s good for the debut of the so called Nigeria’s Justin Bieber. I think all that needs to happen now if for Wizkid to have more experiences to sing about than rising up from the ‘ghetto’ to ‘super stardom’; then maybe he will most likely have better lyrics and he needs to take singing classes also not forgetting that he can rap.
Empire Mates Entertainment might have released one of the best produced albums of the year, and for that they should be proud.

#InTheEnd Superstar will thrill the Wizkid stans and fill the dancefloors. It will also give haters an awesome avenue to tear into the ingenuity of Wizkid. Superstar is a perfectly-produced hot mess that will probably grow on you with multiple listens.

Posted by @Ogagus

CHRISTINE GOES DEEP

Posted: February 2, 2011 in Fresh, Reviews

Imagine you are in Ancient Rome, roaring in a Coliseum, as warriors take on the sand but instead of battling with weapons they engage each other with their vocals, and just when you think you have heard and seen enough, another songbird bursts into the arena and hits you deeply in the heart. Listen to Nokia First Chance winner Christine latest single ‘DEEP’ and I bet you will get that feeling; the singer slays, while pouring out her heart and touching ours.

“7th of November, do you still remember, when you say our love would only last forever…?” she sings, as she reminds her romantic interest about his promise to stick together because they keep going back and forth. The song which is reminiscent of Chingy’s ‘Pulling Me Back’, is bittersweet not in a Fantasia way, as she is still trapped by love but fights the feeling, packs her bags, tries to leave yet unable to because it is so deep. The emotional and vocal performance in this number is a yet another testimony that the beautiful ones have indeed been born; as she glides from the chorus in the 2:08 mark attacking the bridge with so much vigour and control. Word on the arena is that Christine sounds like Rihanna, the bottom line is I am not buying that, opinions seem to vary, listen to the songstress and be the judge of the similarity with the red-haired Bajan.

Undoubtedly the Coliseum has witnessed numerous breath-taking moments but right now my money is on the pipes of the mass communication graduate whose album ‘Life Under Construction’ hits stores soon.
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KEFFE ‘EGUONO’ REVIEW

Posted: February 1, 2011 in Reviews
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The Urhobo language seems to be reaching the ears of many as award winning gospel singer Kefee is still holding strong to her roots; on this number’ the Branama singer teams up with the young and talented rapper Skales and TeeY Mix handling the production and the result is Eguono. The mysterious word means love in Urhobo, the singer is who hails from the Niger Delta is prophesying her love for God and holds nothing back.

She definitely has a lot to be thankful for, 3 successful studio albums, breaking out to be a mainstream act and also in her personal life, as if we all do not have testimonies about God’s love towards us and reciprocation of love is the subject of the song . The unmistakable vocals of Kefee, which has grown over the years and is in its prime, provides relaxing harmonies and a very convincing chemistry with the rapper, not forgetting her mellow vocal runs backing up Skales as he delivers his bars in style. Eguono is nothing like her previous songs; she has brought her ‘A’ game this time around, if her next album maintains this standard, then a must-buy hits the market soon.

A video is expected to be released in the near future; the singer is ready to hit the music scene in grande style breaking out from the shadow of her smash hit; the Timaya assisted Kokoroko.
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LAGOS WUZ ERE

Posted: January 21, 2011 in Fresh, Reviews
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LAGOS “Learnin’ and Grindin’ on Street” explains his music saying “I don’t construct rhythmic sentences and dance able flows; I entertain and educate my listeners.” The Business Administration graduate from the University of Ilorin inspired by the likes of Fela, Sam Cooke, Clipse, Ray Charles and Notorious B.I.G released recently his mixtape ‘LAGOS WUZ ERE’; Sina Akinsola who is practically learning and grinding on the streets took a very bold step in releasing this material although it might not be mind-blowing. The rapper who is reminiscent of Modenine wastes no time letting us know that “If the mind can conceive it, the man can achieve it” in the ‘Prologue’.
The mixtape has some very solid tracks, ‘Acid Rain’, ‘Street Grammar II’ the list continues. The major subject Mr. LAGOS addresses in this release is basically Street Credibility, for instance the sing-along ‘At Last’ where believes he has what it takes to stay; it has been a long time he embarked on the hip hop journey and as he has arrived fans should put their hands up high in the air. It is a mixtape so expectations should be minimal, yet he raises the bar in ‘Dark and Luvly’, on the head-bumping instrumentation and production he raps about a lady prophesying her attraction towards him simply because he is dark and lovely; this track is as intoxicating as they come. LAGOS also delivers in ‘Mic n Me’, Kaba Kaba (Remix), the J. Clue assisted ‘Sarewa’ and ‘Dis Weekend’ which features chilling vocals from singer Salz A.
LAGOS wuz ere and might just stay with his latest mixtape RAPture set to be released May 21, the future looks colorful for the rapper.

WHAT THE HECK? ‘BEAUTIFUL IMPERFECTION’

Posted: January 18, 2011 in Reviews
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How can imperfection be beautiful? I believe is the reaction one gets on the first hearing of the title of Afro-Pop singer ‘Asa’ second studio album, if it counts for anything I did, then realized it was the inimitable hawk herself and who just might be capable of anything.
‘Beautiful Imperfection’ is a very soulful and mature material; which opens with ‘Why Can’t We’, as she asks “Why can’t we be happy, smiling, loving? Why can’t we live life, have fun and not worry much? The song is basically about not worrying, living life happily and it is sure to soothe the worried. The singer is very confident, and she has reason to cause her songs are very poetic, a phenomenon which is very rare in the industry, this she proves again in the song ‘May Be’, which focuses on the pain and troubles of this world, she goes on to state the true nature of some greedy beings and what they do best. She tells the listener that no one stops her from being who she wants to be. The tune makes you want to dance solemnly and ruminate deeply at the same time.
The Jazz influenced number with the songstress singing about love and reciprocating the feeling is a winner; ‘Be My Man’ is what she calls it, “…and I’ll be your woman everyday”, the groovy instrumentation, Asa’s soothing vocals and the throwback feel, the hit single is one of the Imperfection’s most beautiful part. She then carries on with the beautiful ‘Preacher Man’ with her bird-like cries for redemption infused into guitar strumming and drums beats has the effect of making the listener think of seeking redemption.
Things take a U-turn as Bimpe has stepped on the Hawk’s toes and Asa is telling all and sundry to warn Bimpe, on ‘Bimpe’ the somewhat diss song is sung entirely in Yoruba.
On the adult- contemporary ‘The Way I Feel’. The Hawk warns, she comes on this track like an angel who has come to deliver a message and leaves us thinking deeply at the end. The message is strong nevertheless she does not fail to remind us all that is the way she feels. The thoughts of a girl dreaming are addressed in the song ‘Dreamer Girl’. The girl who dreams of simple things, who wants to make a change and who believes she would be a Queen someday despite what you think, A dreamer girl indeed. The dreaming continues in ‘Ok Ok, she rants about pain, love and worries but no remorse because she knows “It’s going to be okay”. She reassures the listener that it going to be okay, despite the storm.
Betrayal is the subject of the day in ‘Ore’ sung mostly in Yoruba tells the story of a friend who visits the singer’s residence and snoops for something to gossip about, finally decides to have a picnic with her friends husband in her absence but she wastes no time kicking the friend out of her life. ‘Baby Gone’, the emotional tale of a hurt lover tells of how her baby is gone and she wants him back. Asa blames herself for letting him slip away and wishes she had kissed him deeper. Asa paints the Institution of Love in such a glorious way; it makes one want to fall in love almost immediately.
Asa branches into folk music in ‘Broda Ole’, she tells that Broda to stop looking for her trouble. It is a song has its comical moments. ‘Beautiful Imperfection’ comes to a captivating end with ‘Questions’, the song has questionable similarity to Vanessa William’s ‘Colors of the Winds’ but she delivers the piece in a dramatically, asking many questions and she hopes to find answers to them all. She asks her questions and it leaves the listener answering subliminally.
She shows that her ‘Imperfection’ is ‘Beautiful’, the LP is amazing with her liberating vocal performance, poetic lyrics and brilliant delivery. ‘Beautiful Imperfection’ is a strong follow-up to her classic debut.

Posted by @Teeonair

‘H.I.A.M’ HOLD IT AGAINST ME

Posted: January 16, 2011 in Reviews
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It was the sound heard all over the world, as Britney Spears announced the date for the release of her first single since she her ‘The Singles Collection’ in 2009; a collective sigh from the crazed and obsessed Brit fans that populate this holy planet. Then the tension built (not helped by lyrical hints given one word at a time by one of the song’s producers Dr. Luke). The song release broke digital download records and it instantly topped the iTunes charts in numerous countries with expected to sell over 400,000 copies in its first week the U.S (Sorry! Avril’s What the Hell).
On first listen the song explodes in a madcap hash of techno meets pop meet Britney’s famous husky voice. As she asks in a double entrende (If You Seek Amy, anyone?); “If I said I want your body now, would you hold it against me?” The song doesn’t strike you at first but it eventually grows on you; maybe it’s the superb production from Dr Luke and Max Martin or the not too mainstream sound of du-step infused into this likely hit which is a perfect ear candy. With a promise of more singles before the album drops in 2011, Brit fans worldwide can take a collective gulp of air; she is back! Made more evident by a recent egomaniac Kanye West tweet telling her “Imma let you have #1 but my song with Jay Z (H.A.M) is the world’s best song” or something like that.
In other news; “It’s Britney bitch!”

Posted by @dharkdare

MI2: THE MOVIE REVIEW

Posted: January 11, 2011 in Reviews

Question: How does Naija’s favorite rapper top a seemingly perfect debut?
Answer: Releasing his next LP as a ‘Movie’ and generating so much buzz about the release that it ends up being a popular topic for the world on its release date #MI2.
Notwithstanding Mr. Incredible’s 1.2 hour long audio movie fails to reprise the acclaim, refinement and magic of its predecessor ‘Talk About It’. The rapper is definitely in a zone where he is full of himself, ranting about his somewhat accomplishment in almost every scene.
Kicking off of a hilarious prelude featuring appearances by humourous French accented Jean Pierre, Mustapha and a hilarious version of Waje. This sets the atmosphere for a fun and ‘action’ filled album. The album flirts with fast-paced dramatic beats on crowd favorite ‘Action Film’ which features the utterly overrated vocalist. Caribbean-tinged magic on ‘Slow Down’ which reminds you of ‘Teaser’ but falls short. Experimentation with hip-hop and highlife bears mind-blowing ‘Number 1’. One of the LP’s highest points; where M.I delivers smoothly on highlife instrumentation and highlife singer Flavour singing with some much drama. Assisted by Timaya and Loose Kaynon, on the inescapable ode to God; ‘Anybody’. The importance of been talked about on the Tu-face assisted ‘Nobody’. ‘Beef’ where the rapper once again shows his versatility rapping over Afro beat, suggesting food toppings and saying ‘Kelechukwu, Clap for yourself, well done’. Burn, Mr. Handsome…Burn! MI2 most dramatic moment surfaces in ‘Wild Wild West’ where he discusses violence in hometown Jos. Another low point comes and goes ‘My Head My Belle’.
Immersed into the movie thinking “the best has passed”, matters of the heart which fails to grab our hearts arise in ‘One Naira’, the song which sounds like a reply to ‘Fast Money, Fast Cars’ where the vocalist goes on and on about being in love not because of material things sounded as if life was drained from the song. You just have to praise the movie from recovering from the Waje haunting chorus as MI2 delivers, discussing the instability of the human mind in ‘Craze’ and holding on to our imaginations as crazy piano loops rip through ‘Undisputed’. The sheer power of crowd-produced anthem ‘Epic’ with underrated vocalist Praise, the singer shows offs his vocal prowess. The MI2 ended badly like a Nollywood home video as he delivers his final blows with bold self-baring ‘Imperfect Me’, he said he was not perfect, and once again proved it on this song, the narration at the end makes you want to stand up and hit a n!**a; what was the rapper thinking? You seem to ask yourself.
The Choc Boys fans in the building, waited a little longer a were rewarded with ‘Represent’, after much deliberation he finally decided to close the curtains with ‘Unstoppable’, a mini-biography with enough name drops to fill a register; I believe we can call it that.
MI2: The Movie, is just another record anything but ‘Epic’, generally the LP sounded like a diss record lacking refinement where the rapper bragged on almost every song, he even realized that in the final song “So no be brag, I dey brag; No be boast I dey boast”. Although we cannot deny that the rapper still proves he is a driving force in the industry, with high points like ‘Wild Wild West’, ‘Epic’, ‘Number 1,’ ‘Unstoppable’, ‘Represent’, ‘Anybody’, ‘Beef’ and ‘Nobody’ who needs a classic.
Fact: Mr. Incredible once again proved that it is not easy to remake a classic.

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History is repeating itself as powerhouse Afro-Pop diva once again teams up with music icon to create a masterpiece; like the duo accomplished in “In the Music”. If You Ask Me (Na Who I Go Ask?) finds Omawumi in a position where the singer is scared to talk about child sexual abuse because of the gravity of the subject; but she finally manages to open up about the “matter for ground” soliloquizing on a Cohbams Asuquo groovy jazz instrumentation enriched with trumpets, drums and timbres.
The stellar voice narrates the emotional tale of a family, where the daughter was sexually abused by her father. She delivers the interesting piece with her strong pipes and takes the listener on a journey; painful yet informative as she urges victims of sexual abuse to stand up and take action, raising awareness on the issue; with a cinematic end.
Hit or Miss? If You Ask Me (Na Who I Go Ask?); is definitely a hit, the subject of the song, classic production combined with outstanding vocal performance; Ms. Megbele proves that she is a wonder woman capable of pushing boundaries and refining her style.

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BRUNO MARS “GRENADE” REVIEW

Posted: January 9, 2011 in Reviews
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After the release of ‘Just the Way You Are’ which has just been successful as the bombings in Naija, the singer-songwriter Bruno Mars released this slow chart-creeping and creepy song from his debut Doo Wops & Hooligans.
The Smeezingtons produced number is filled with useful tips on self mutilation to get your partner (who apparently opens her eyes while you kiss), to fall in love with you that include grenade-catching (which is totally harmless by the way), hand-blaring, train jumping, anything-doing, and taking a bullet through the brain, Mr. Mars manages to completely insult and show his love for someone who will watch him burn (Eminem anyone?), rip his brakes out and throw away his love.
Suicidal feelings narrated in Bruno’s heartfelt screams over a tumble of tribal drums and a solemn piano; we have pop perfection. Simply the reason the song just has to be loved by the all and hated by some guys who keep saying Grenade ko, Grenade ni.
Oh! If only you’ve been in love…

Posted by @dharkdare

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