A strong review of Nigerian (Naija) albums
GENRE: RnB/African Pop
LABEL: TC Records / 2Gbaski Records
Year of release: 2010
Born Oluwadamilare Okulaja, multi-talented singer/songwriter Durella has come a long way in the Nigerian entertainment scene since making his debut in 2006. Being the self-acclaimed KING OF THE ZANGA, Durella’s First Album, also titled “The King of The Zanga” was popularly hailed as one of the best debut Album.
In the short while he has been around, Durella has made quite a solid impact all round him, releasing hits/club-bangers such as “Shayo”, “Wiskolo Wiska” and “Queen Of My Zanga”. Then signed to TC Records, he went on to win the ZAIN sponsored MTV Advance Warning in 2008 and released his debut album in 2009.
Adding a feather to his cap, he was on July 26, 2009 appointed as the United Nations (UN) Youth Ambassador for Peace. He officially left TC records March this year to set up his own Label – 2Gbasky Records and has released his sophomore album titled “Reconfigurated”.
“Reconfigurated” is a 16-track album comprised of 12 new tracks, a couple of instrumentals, an intro & a skit, put together by Durella, along with producers K-Solo, the fast rising Samklef, Chief-O, Dr. Frabz and Terry G.
The album starts out with the “Intro” where Durella goes into a catchy slang-infused self-adulation. Next up is “Baba God”, a mid-tempo song produced by K-Solo. Durella gives thanks to God for the many “blessings” so far. It’s highlife infused, and a totally feel good song that is a def listen.
Track 3 is the remix of “My Life (Enemies)” which had earlier in the year been released as a single. With the beat tweaked by producer Terry G, this we see Durella going in effortlessly, and then bringing in the Spiritual Hitman to do a bit of “sangalow-ing” on the vocals. Considerably, the remix is a success and is a sure club-banger. Arguably, it’s one of the best songs on the album.
“Crazy”, the 4th track on the album is an okay song. Even with the up-tempo beat cooked up by Samklef, the joint might not make much impact as anticipated. The next cut “Expire” featuring Lord Of Ajasa and Pato-Ranking is another one of my favorites on the album. Durella throws it in the face of the “enemies” with his lyrics. Pato-Ranking infuses a raga feel into the song, and Lord of Ajasa comically infuses Yoruba rap with lines such as “garri to le bi spaghetti…..mi o ran e, emi ti moti leri”. K-Solo obviously put in a lot of creativity into the song.
The album moves into track 6, a skit that has Durella spitting out a lot more gibberish and slang-infused freestyle over a very dope beat which serves as an intro for the next song – the sexually charged “Boom Boom” produced by Samklef. The beats are pretty heavy on this and is sure to make rounds on DJ sets.
The widely popular “My Life (Enemies)” springs up and is one of the better productions by Samklef on the album. Infusing some techo-ish sounding up-tempo beat into the song, Durella comes correct with lyrics warning “enemies” to “let him live his life”. Apparently, he has major issues with “enemies”…lol. Albeit, this is another banger sure to have you singing dancing along whether at home or in the club.
Durella teams up with Timaya on “Don’t Go Funny”, the 9th track on the album. This is a perfect synergy of K-Solo’s beats, Durella’s animated/high spirited singing, and Timaya’s catchy voice and flows. I fell any deviation from this combination might have messed up the song, but hey, this is a classic hit. Big ups to all on it.
Next up is “Hustle” produced by Samklef. This is an unsure song for me as it sounds a little bit repetitive on the lyrics and a tad different from the regular Durella style we are used to. It takes a lot not to want to hit the skip button on this song. Track 11, titled “Ileke” produced by the combination of the creative minds of Samklef and K-Solo is another weak song on the album. Is it just me or was Durella rapping on this song? Oh-uh….I guess he was trying to explore some other creative side of him which didn’t go particularly too well.
“Ku Danu” featuring 9ice and produced by Chief-O, the 12th track on the album is by a long shot, the poorest song for me. I guess having 9ice on the track didn’t yield the desired results. Or maybe it was the poorly configured beat that had Durella seemingly not at home at all. The album, in my opinion could have done without this song.
We move on into the Bonus tracks which includes hit “Queen Of My Zanga”, back by popular demand from his previous album. Yet, another good one for me, it’s a slow tempo classic song produced by the multi-talented Dr.Frabz. Also included in the list of bonus tracks is a “Eko O Ni Baje”, a song dedicated to eulogizing Lagos State under the Governorship of Tunde Fashola. Infused with highlife synonymous with the Lagos owambe parties, it’s a track hailing Governor Tunde Fashola, rightfully timed as the elections draw near. Did I hear u shout, “good strategy”!?
The album ends with instrumentals of “Expire” and “My Life (Enemies)”. All in all, it’s a good album thanks to the diversity brought in by the different producers.
However, the album could have been better arranged. The positions of “My Life (Enemies)” original and remix should have been swapped for each other to provide a better perspective for comparison. All collabos, excluding that with 9ice were well placed and properly performed.
Outstanding Tracks: Baba God, My Life, My Life(Pt.2), Expire, Don’t Go Funny, Boom Boom
Disappointing Tracks: Ku Danu, Hustle, Ileke
VOCAL DROPS Rating System
OPINION (Personal): 7/10
SKIP FACTOR: 7/10
THE VERDICT: 7.1/10
This is not a bad album at all, but I sense some form of discrepancies as this was an album that was acclaimed to have been “smuggled” into the market. Listening to the album, we hear a lot of “Enemies 4th Mainland-Bridge Coming Soon” which makes me think that was the name previously given to the album. Has his parting ways with TC records got anything to do with that? Maybe yes… maybe no. Nonetheless, it’s album you won’t regret buying.
This album MAKES THE iPOD.