It is no news that 6 (out of total 19 tracks including a bonus) had been jamming on radio and available for download several months prior to the eventual release of the album that we were misled to believe would be titled CHOSEN (seriously vexed).
However after listening to the album, though the wait is still unjustifiable, I’m willing to forgive his PR team for the deceptive stunt. I’ve read all sorts of reviews on the album – some not too impressive (the review on Bellanaija was just plain chaotic) – I decided to wait, let the album settle in, becasue from past experience, I’ve realized that this homeboy’s album sort of grow on you.
It’s now a full month since the album dropped, I figured a bunch of you already copped the album, and all I aim to do with this review is to help understand the direction taken by the Star Boy.
From the artwork, one can immediately decipher the creative direction Wizzy takes on his sophomore album, Ayo. He employs more cultural contents – the album is literally fraught with Yoruba adages, proverbs and language – but not in an undesirable way rather it insinuates maturity in his style.
He has fully morphed from the teenager singing holla at your boy. While the album is a predominantly afro-pop one, some Juju, high life, reggae elements was sampled. Working with an eclectic collection of producers, it’s immediately apparent that Maleek Berry – his label mate and producer – didn’t contribute much to the album. Legendury Beatz, Shizzi, Del B and Uhuru all had a nice time out with the Star boy.
So lets quickly do a rundown of tracks on the album (plugging in your earphones wouldn’t be a bad idea at this point).
PS- tracks previously released will not make the final cut of this review
My mummy (translation) is nothing short of a praise and worship song for a deity that is mothers. Well that’s to people that regard their mothers as such. This would definitely endear Wizkid to the older folks.
Perhaps my favorite of all, a sort of fusion between afro-beat and high life, the title of the song couldn’t be more apt for the feeling the song inspires; he’s living the good life and he wants to celebrate, simple.
Wizkid explores sounds tending towards high life in this one. Del B is fast becoming a maestro in this line of instrumentals. Kcee’s Limpopo wouldn’t have been out of place in this one, as a matter of fact, the Limpopo dance will be a lovely step to this.
Majorly high life sounds, Wizkid drops his braggadocio persona and puts on a more humble cloak. With Yemi Sax on the song, you know the horns are blaring.
For You feat. Akon
Uhuru dearly deserves commendation for this song, even though he mimicked his instrumental on Tchelete. Wizkid employs the vocal prowess of Akon who in turn killed it, the song is full of lustful and sexually suggestive lyrics – we need to bring IK (back when he was the wildchild) to help decipher the iron pipes Akon referred to as iron-kon.
In Love feat. Seyi Shay
Everyday am falling in love with you, falling for you boy. In love is a classical boy-girl duet, the kind that never go wrong when a talented vocalist like Miss Shay is employed. If one didn’t listen carefully, one might believe Seyi Shay was Asa.
In My Bed
This is a definite club banger, why? Uhuru did the instrumental. After the beat reaches a crescendo, it stops while Wizkid did the bridge ‘I want your body sleeping in my bed’ while sugar coating the bed with his sweet humming bird voice making it to sound like ‘beed’, the beat kicks back to life, and the song suddenly transforms to some sort of Fuji music. He mentioned names and backed it up with ‘eleniyan’ (notable person). In honest it sounded good, but the transition was too abrupt.
A deep, reflective song, he is reminiscing the days he began his music hustle in Ojuelegba. Adopting the title of the song from a popular and somewhat notorious neighborhood in Lagos, this is an indication of how matured his music can get. A rich afro-beat instrumentation accentuated by talking drum.
Ladies that have mastered the art of twerking would be grateful for this Star boy, EME collaboration (Banky appears for the last time as his boss) and he (Banky Wellington) shows who the boss is, switching from rap to reggae in 1 verse, he rubs it in your face “so much style dem think say I be boy band”.
Murder feat. Wale
He had released a snippet of this song months ago. It’s the 3rd time he’s featured Wale, the other 2 however didn’t make the album. Not a bad song in all, but it would have been more befitting in a mixtape.
Another love song, with instrumentals that I reckon is kind of late Brenda Fassi-esque. The bass guitar strings was struck quiet impressively by Legendury beats.
Show You The Money feat. Tyga
Another track meant for a mixtape.
Aside the fact that Wizkid’s Instagram account suggested the album as one which would include so many US acts and we ended up getting 1/2 collabo (Akon is one, the other 2 is half), in all I think the album is a very good listen. A more matured and reinvigorated music. Out of 5 stars its a 4 for me.