A strong review of Naija albums
GENRE: RnB & Reggae
LABEL: Hypertek Entertainment
Year of release: 2010
Like most major superstars in recent times, 2Face has had his own dark moments in his illustrious career. Like a public villain whose name is even similar to DC’s super-villain in the Batman comic series – Two-Face, it seems Innocent Ujah Idibia also chooses to make life & career decisions based on a coin toss (Heads, I use condom(s); Tails, I don’t); now much more matured, 2Face has decided to use his juggernaut powers to become a positive Unstoppable Musical Force
Retaining 7 songs from the poorly accepted original ‘Unstoppable’ LP and introducing 7 new ones in this International edition, 2Face, from the 1st track – “Raindrops” makes it clear that ‘Unstoppable 2’ will be his most intimate and heartfelt album to date. The Reggae driven track is heavy-laden with emotions as 2Face sings from his heart about all the personal battles, mama drama, paternity requests, bad press, how he paid the price and how he still counts his blessings and loves his 10, 7, 5 children. It’s done so creatively that while many artists would have wasted disc space & time with gibberish and skits trying to prep the listener, 2Baba’s forces his audience to think and interpret on their own – The song’s message sits in as being Unstoppable even with every major obstacle and mistakes in life.
Next up is my standout track on the album – “Be There.” From start to finish it is as close to flawless as a track can be. 2Face literally brings forth his most decent song-writing to date and showcases his highly rated powerful voice. It has the potential to compete with the best tracks that the artist has ever written or sung (“African Queen”, “Ole”). It’s easy to get caught up in its melody and it’s stripped down Soft-rock production is top class.
The reworked “Take It Back” maintains radio appeal and sees 2Baba’s vocals accompanied by a dope use of tempo and melody between the bridge, hook and verses. The fun-filled “I Sing” is sampled from Fela’s “Teacher Don’t Teach Me Nonsense” and J Sleek’s Afro-beat driven production make beat-heavy impressions amidst 2Face’s harmonizing “I sing, I sing, I sing I beg everyone to join my song/let’s hip and hop and rock and roll it all night long/let’s pop Champagne together/come out come out wherever u are/party non stopper/make we do the ruba duba/to this afrobeat song/make we do the tapper tapper/clap hands together/go on so un so un.”
Lil Ehi then orders us to ‘play the other one’ as we get a proper chance to listen to the overlooked gem of a track on his last album – “Free”.
One of 2Baba’s best qualities is his ability to deliver monster hits that never copy the same formula. He is simply a chameleon. The monster hit “Implication” is different in delivery and melody to 2009’s banger “Enter the Place” which features Sound Sultan and I’m sure both are still favorites amongst DJs, Rump-shakers and ‘Sister Kolombi-ists’.
“Emotion” sees Mr Idibia venture away from the traditional R&B ballad and into the realm of Rock/Pop. His ability to adapt his voice, production and confidence to fit a track or topic is so impressive. It’s as if J Sleek produced this one with the European market in mind.
Current single “Only Me” is simply brilliant and grows on you play after play. In the span of the one track 2Face bring up thoughts of justice against corruption and greed, spirituality, hope, and more. The single serves as a very relevant track to 9ja today, and is a notable standout on the project.
The imported “Outside” would be the standout cut on anybody else’s record, and should challenge as one of the ladies’ favorite from the album and with good reason. The remix to “Be There” comes with a very different mid-tempo popping beat and 2Face carefully chooses an incredible contributor in MI to feature on the track; and is a welcome addition as he seems to share Innocent’s vision to speak to R&B & Hiphop fans of yesterday and tomorrow at once.
Never a stranger to the influences of Jamaican music, the multi-award winner on the next 2 cuts – “Fly” and “Appreciate It” infuses reggae’s warped sounds & chanting with his power crooning and ultimately thanks and praises God for everything. Of course thanks to Maltina Dance Off and soccer related radio shows, “Power of Naija” should keep the listeners constantly on their toes.
Unstoppable (2), The International Edition is 2Face’s attempt to put it all in perspective and re-enter the public eye with what made him famous to begin with – A Distinct sweet sounding mix of R’n’B, Soft Rock, Hip-Hop & Reggae.
For how watered-down 9ja Hip Hop landscape has become, today’s R&B is even more so. With few notable exceptions, today’s R&B artists are either busy pretending that they’re con-artists, thugs, or simply pushing hyper-sexualized lyrics that deal only with “the good life.”
In 2Face, we have an artist over-ready for export that is both a genius AND has an adventurous, unique style. He finishes out the decade with another excellent album improving his image and sealing his legacy while proving that he can still push the bar higher.
Without needing a surplus of artists (only 3 guest spots) to contribute to the album; he makes it very visible why he is 1 of the most desired collaborators in the game. Producers like J Sleek, Wayne MC Nelshe and Jiggy Jegg come through on this masterpiece to provide deluxe production where 2Face does what we always want him to do – to sing, to sing, to sing…
Outstanding Tracks: Be There, Raindrops, Only Me, I Sing, Do It, Implication, Be There(remix)
Disappointing Tracks: None
VOCAL DROPS Rating System
OPINION (Personal): 9/10
SKIP FACTOR: 10/10
THE VERDICT: 9.0/10
It’s been a while since any Nigerian artist released a timeless album (Onyeka Onwenu & KSA). All indicators point to the UNSTOPPABLE (The International Edition) as the next one:
- N1,000.00 price tag (and people still dey rush buy am)
- It is as intimate and beautiful as RnB gets.
- International appeal
- Unique & different (revolutionary)
- No disappointing track
- Easy on the ear and cuts across all genre.
While artists have detailed formulas for record, 2Face takes the audience on journeys. He removes the limitations of conventional RnB songs or themes and refuses to cater towards any specific audience in hopes to stay relevant. He simply creates.
His music oozes of confidence and with an album entitled Unstoppable, it’s clear he believes it. The R&B King brings forth a very brilliant album in the high hope that it will allow fans and the media to forgive his transgressions. In my opinion, it already does that.
The real question is if the rest of the world is ready for 2Baba cos for Nigeria, Africa & all the fertile ladies, he is UNSTOPPABLE.
This album is A CLASSIC.