Don’t let Timaya fool you.
Granted he recently became a proud father of a baby girl. Yes Empress Njamah and K-solo are now but names in his distant past. True his fourth solo album is titled ‘Upgrade’ and maybe the album’s lead single ‘Sexy ladies’ is the best thing he’s done in a while. All well and good, but our man remains the same guy he’s always been and these personal and professional upheavals have had no major impact on his music.
With his previous albums, Timaya has had a great thing going on with the dance floor. He has courted it, caressed it and conquered it. You’d think that he would have had enough by now but it is to this same dance floor that the Egberi papa returns for one more merry go round.
‘Upgrade’ wastes no time dishing out the hits and the scorching ‘Sexy ladies’ dares you to remain on your seat. Timaya does his bit but it is the producer, a dude called YungD who owns this one, what with the thumping beat, heavy bass and production flourishes. The club-banger playlist may be saturated right now but deejays will always make room for this one.
The tempo is stepped up a notch with the Terry G assisted mob fest ‘malonogede’ as the akpako master brings with him his bell, his ginjah and a whole lot of attitude. They make beautiful noise together and Terry G is generous enough to leave some of his flavour long after he is gone as songs like ‘Bobby’ and ‘Bom bom’ could easily have been recorded by him.
On this record, Timaya has the ladies on his mind. He sings of sexy ladies, fantasizes about making wild love to them and spews forth obscenities such as ‘’fun mi doggy…/make me want ejaculating’’ on one track and ‘’sweet fine girl pull off your pata’’ on yet another. At least two other songs are named for our favourite parts of the female anatomy.
Parental supervision strictly advised. But he can play the gentle man too. On ‘I am sorry’, an all-out reggae highlight, he is cast in a change of pace role and pleads for forgiveness even as he wails, ‘’I’ve been messing up lately I know.’’ ‘Bolanle’ is a love letter to a girl who has just about had enough and he recalls the late Sunny Okosun in the highlife tinged ‘
Love & friend’
It wouldn’t be a Timaya album without a song or two for his enemies and he vents on ‘Illuminati’, a misfire that sees him ranting, ‘’now because I’m making money/the people say I join illuminati.’’ As if.
He throws in a remix of ‘All the way’, the hit single from last year’s ‘L.L.N.P’ a collaboration album with his Dem mama soldiers and the precocious rapper Attitude steals the show with his cocky delivery, even taking on pint-sized Mr Abaga for size. He boasts ‘’I’m just fifteen/ I’m young ain’t I?/ that doesn’t mean that I am afraid of M.I.’’ Barrack boy Vector shows up on ‘Good life’ but throws up nothing striking and duds like ‘Be my honey’ and ‘I have it’ should really have been left off the LP.
‘Upgrade’ is serviceable in many respects as a club-ready party starter and while this may be all Timaya has set out to achieve, it does precious little to help him grow as an artiste. Since the heydays of his 2007 debut ‘True story’, he has been stuck in a creative rut and while sticking to the dance floor may be commercially viable now, we will forget about this record by the end of the year.
Which is a shame as Timaya has been blessed with talent to burn and can do so much more given the right direction. While dancing our bums off now, we patiently await that Timaya album that would totally knock the socks off ‘True story.’
Now that would be an upgrade.