Selah, title of singer/producer J Martins‘ latest album is Hebrew for ‘pause and think’. One would expect that Mr Martins would have put in a little bit of both considering his endearing penchant for brewing hit singles as an artist and producer.
If the lead single ‘Fine fine love’ was a tad clunky and did not emerge as fine as it surely must have started out, at least last year’s teaser ‘Goodtym’ featuring Angolan wizkid Cabo Snoop and the trilling vocals of crooner Waje stood out sharply and hinted of good things to come.[audio:https://www.360nobs.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/J-Martins-Fine-Fine-LoveWorld.mp3|titles=J-Martins-Fine-Fine-LoveWorld]
J-Martins - Fine Fine Love (4.5 MiB, 3,868 hits)
J Martins ft Cabo Snoop - Good Tym (3.7 MiB, 54,392 hits)
It is quite sad to note that after 15 unremarkable and utterly repetitive songs, (12 listed singles and a couple of remixes and bonus tracks) Selah is about as exciting as a giant tub of lard. Staying true to his highlife roots and blending modern uptempo beats, it is get up and dance music. Problem is, we have moved on and his peculiar mash ups don’t do it for us as much as they might have two years back.
Bereft of new ideas, Mr Martins copiously jacks his own previous body of work. All of his greatest hits- ‘Good or bad‘, ‘Eva‘, ‘Oyoyo‘ are rehashed and recycled here, these new hybrids are sub par and when he runs out of his own stuff, he turns to material from other artistes. There is a desperate lack of identity and all of the songs could have been recorded by any of Mr Martins’ contemporaries.
Bracket could easily have sung the hook off ‘Selense’ and they would have injected more spirit into it too, ‘Omalicha‘ is a dismal knock-off of his hit ‘Eva’ and the tedious ballad, ‘Green light’ is P-square’s ‘Omoge mi’ meets Mario’s ‘Let me love you.’ A low blow, even for J Martins is the unnecessary ‘I like am’, a tepid reprise of ‘Goodtym’ without it’s best parts (the guest vocals).
He owes his friends big time for colouring the entire drab affair with it’s brightest spots. Apart from a decent solo effort on ‘Pride (Ego)’ where he shows traces of a good performer, it is the guest stars who save the day. Waje lends her divine adlibs to ‘Ereke’ and prevents it from going the forgettable way of the other songs. Congolese sexy dancer Fally Ipupa does the same in ‘Kele papa’ and lifts it with his indiscernible crooning even though it is a rehash of their previous collabo, ‘Jukpa’. New comer Phyno might be one of the most promising acts now, but he is soundly defeated by ‘Kpo kpo garri’ and slums it alongside a dude named Runtown.
J Martins ft Fally Ipupa - Kele Papa (3.9 MiB, 17,185 hits)
Save for providing J Martins with his third record, there is no particular reason for this disc to have been put out. He recently joined the ever swelling ranks of married performers and it will be to his own advantage as well as that of our much put upon ears that he sticks with being a family man for now. At least until he comes up with material that is more deserving of us.
Pause and think- It’s all we ask for.