A strong review of Naija albums
GENRE: R n B
LABEL: Mo’ Hits Records
Year of release: 2009
His ‘angelic’ vocals have blessed hooks for D’banj, Naeto C, Ikechukwu & of course the Mo’ Hits All Stars’ Curriculum Vitae album (the biggest benefactor from his soulful singing). Yes it’s the Blackest Of Them All from the Mo’ Hits Crew – Wande Ojosipe (uh?? Did u really think his surname was Coal). In 2007, we heard our first Wande Coal song, ‘Ololufe’, a powerful & soulful love song. The whole Naija community realised that this former Choir Boy was ready to be the next big thing in Naija’s R n B. 3 years on after being signed to Mo’ Hits in 2006, a debut album finally surfaced. Make you follow me review W Ceezy’s MUSHIN 2 MO HITS.
The opener “I Know U Like It” throws us off a little from what to expect from this album. The beats are nice sounding like Naija meets UK Garage but the actual song doesn’t show off his vocals and it makes him kind of laid back riding out Don Jazzy’s rhythmic beats. It leads into “You Bad” a club jam for the DJs’ playlists. It’s a true Hiphop track made for the ‘Lepas’ & ‘Orobos’ with its catchy hook “C this lepa, lepa to bad o / orobo, orobo to Bad o”. The track features an almost invisible D’Banj who gets fully draped by Wande on this track (well done WC, it’s a feat most people don’t accomplish). With a lot of average lyrics, there is a memorable 1st verse – “U be hunter, u continue hunting/ and dats 1 thing will lead to 1 thing/ and dat 1thing will lead to something/omo I dey gbadun how u no dey fronting/straight to the point, u no get time 4 long thing” which showcases his versatility. “Se Na Like This”, the next track comes as a bit of a surprise as it sways off the game-plan into a clear narrative message of the present situation in Nigeria and the hopeful future. A Kid’s voice gets smacked on, which becomes that little conscience which keeps knocking on our souls.
Then the gem of a track, “Kiss Your Hands” which features IkeCHUKWU. It’s Wande ‘falsetto MJ’ Coal on Don Baba J’s finest work on the album. The track makes you wanna ‘moon-walk’ again. Ikechukwu spits some bars which unfortunately get swallowed in the instrumentals giving you 2nd thoughts if this track was fully mastered. All in all, the track is a collector’s mp3 item.
“Confused”, a filler track is an upbeat track with a 90’s feel and the Standard D’Banj verse. Then it’s back to the playground with my favourite track “Se Ope”, a simple track that shows Wande’s versatility once again & Don Jazzy’s ability to transform a child’s sing-along song into an awesome track. It touches on how you should praise God for what you have been blessed with, nothing is too small. “Some can sing but have no beats, some have beats but cannot sing, WC can sing & has Don Jazzy’s beats”. Then comes the disappointing Jagged Edge-inspired “Now It’s All Gone” track with D’Prince’s average verse.
“Bumper 2 Bumper” is your typical Club Anthem & is a certified banger among the radio stations’ countdowns. The switch to Juju beats during the song is pure genius (Take a bow Don ‘Timbaland’ Jazzy). “Who Born the Maga”, I personally like because it showcases a re-invented K-Switch (On CV, he was rapping) with a Jamo-flow. Imagine him & Pype on the same track.
“That’s Wots Up” is a nice song with a good hook that grows on you. “Taboo” is another Club Anthem and has been in rotation since last year and we just love seeing ladies dancing ‘Alanta’ to the vibrating beats with the ‘Kileyi! Ileke’ catchy hook. On “Jehovah”, we have a very well thought out track that gives Thanks to God. It is a beautiful Piece; just try listening to it in traffic on your way to work to fully appreciate the track.
With 13 + 3 Bonus tracks, Naija’s new falsetto King (YES! someone finally takes the crown off Dizzy K Falola) pushes Naija RnB to new abstract heights thanks to Don ‘Na who do the beat’ Jazzy. With so many praises heaped on Don Baba Jay, I started thinking that the album ought to have been called ‘Thank You Don Jazzy’.
But can you really blame Wande Coal, Don Jazzy comes through again as he has done on his previous works …but this time fusing modern hiphop beats with ‘Ijinle’ (Motherland) rhythms allowing WC to switch between languages without the listener even realising it.
Outstanding Tracks: Se Ope, U Bad, Kiss Your Hands, Bumper 2 Bumper, Jehovah, Ten Ten
Disappointing Tracks: Bananas, Now It’s All Gone, I Know U Like It
VOCAL DROPS Rating System
VERSATILITY: 9/10 (Falsetto magic)
OPINION (Personal): 8/10
SKIP FACTOR: 8/10
THE VERDICT: 8.1/10
With a much anticipated album, Wande & Don Jazzy create the perfect ‘safe’ chemistry for another successful Mo’ Hits album. Though some pieces of this album have been influenced by International Artists (uh, MJ), WC displays energy and versatility lacking in Naija’s music industry. Lyrically, it doesn’t deliver as expected but it’s a strong debut album that is way better than what is out there. Let’s hope it kick-starts WC’s promising Career and we look forward to a more creative and lyrical masterpiece from him.
Wande Coal represents the Great African R n B Hope and with more work + Don Jazzy’s production, he should become World Renowned.
This album MAKES THE iPOD