We’ll just get right to it.
It is still July but one would be hard pressed to find a more complete album than Lindsey Abudei’s excellent debut …And the bass is Queen. For those paying attention, the awesomeness of the record was already foretold in 2015 by the promo single, Out the magazine, a step out of your comfort zone confection that was further brightened by a delightfully quirky Kemi Adetiba video making creative use of colour and choreography to present a modern day fairy tale.
Newcomers to the cult of Miss Abudei will be seduced by the opening strings of the album’s brief but impactful intro track Have You where she sings in a sultry, confident voice wise beyond its years. The lyrics melt into the strings as Lindsey Abudei oozes soul and grace with her queries, Have you ever walked alone with a broken heart/Have you ever wondered if this is for me?/Have you ever wished for more than silence/Have you ever woken up to a broken dream.
Lindsey Abudei understands the power of economy and for her, less is sometimes more. Her voice can be as big as they come but she is not interested in cheap show offs or needless theatrics. She has a story to tell and wants to immerse her audience in this world that she and her producer, Atta Otigba have painstakingly taken the time and effort to create. This world is moody, deeply reflective and allows for brief bursts of colour on tracks like Out the Magazine and When You Drive Me Mad. On the latter, she pledges her love for an undeserving partner. They cannot quite agree on anything and are always at loggerheads, but are surely made for each other. She confesses to her guitar about Mr Lover, When you don’t drive me mad, you’re the sweetest thing I know.
…And the bass is Queen. is very relatable. Abudei’s song writing is a refreshing break from the norm, Simple with a hint of mystery that does not encroach into fake deep territory, she finds interesting ways to capture time worn feelings, experiences and emotions.
Love and life are the two huge themes of the record. The love songs are not sappy, neither are they silly, merely bittersweet. She’s fallen head over heels in High but knows she should step back a bit or risk getting caught in the giddiness. She takes the opposite route on Apologise, accepting her nothingness, absent the lover. Drift Away deals with the gradual parting of ways but she heaps the blame on the partner, taking none for herself while on Libra Man, Abudei makes it clear she is a practical girl before eloquently dismissing a suitor whose trump card is the compatibility of their zodiac signs.
Freedom and I is Abudei by way of Sade Adu declaring the value and non-negotiability of living free. She asserts, The dream will not die/We will learn to live together/The land will abide/And we will sing this song forever. Scream at the sun is a confident dirge encouraging living and letting live while Home recalls the moody, cinematic, stormy cloud of an Enya composition, only peppered with lots of vocals. Shoot them down is a triumph of resilience and determination amidst adversity.
Abudei won’t yell when a note can be whispered and she won’t use words where a simple sound could be more effective. …And the bass is Queen demands to be consumed as a whole as the songs segue deftly into the next. Radio will find it difficult identifying one hit single and this, instead of working as a disadvantage, is a testament to how compelling and complete the record is. At just about 50 minutes short, …And the bass is Queen. never outstays its welcome and builds to a deeply satisfying climax.
The finish is of international standard and the record can easily find life beyond the shores of Nigeria if marketed as such.
Forget the bass, Lindsey Abudei is queen.
–– Wilfred Okiche (@DrWill20)