Album REVIEW: Born in July – Frank Edward

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Everyone’s favorite gospel singer is back with Born in July, another power packed vocal energy showcase that manages to send praises to God almighty, yet display one man’s epic talent across various instruments.

Released to coincide with his birthday celebrations on July 22, 2017, the original Born in July 8 track record is followed by a premium issue which contains thirteen songs. The record begins with the dramatization of the birth of a child, and plays his creation as a product of gifts from various angels. This is followed briefly by a brief medley of some of his big hits.

This music begins with Mojubare, (Yoruba for I Worship You), a welcoming tune that sets the tone for how the rest of the record will play out. It isn’t the most original of songs but Edwards, with his stunning voice and dexterity at arranging even the most basic of songs makes it come alive beautifully.

On Joy, Edwards tries something different and goes for eighties bubbly disco. It works out so splendidly, he decides to do it again, this time to diminishing returns on the derivative Rhythm of Life (Jesus). If Joy is utterly irresistible, then Rhythm of Life is its less pretty younger sister that never quite fits in, despite the short running time.

The center piece of the record has to be Glad You Did, a smooth yet lively mixture of soft rock and American country music that begs to be performed live at the highest possible volume. Other gems, performed in the Frank Edwards tradition of slow building verses and gigantic choruses or refrains include Wetin You No Fit Do and Loving the Way (with Ada Ehi).  Mr Edward meets his vocal match in Victor Ike and the two big voiced singers have a blast going back and forth on the majestic Celestial, before expiring in a wave of tongue speaking.

Everything about Miracle Rain, from subject matter- it is raining money, husbands, double promotion and favors- to the lifting of lines from popular gospel choruses points to the Pentecostal revival movement and this one is sure to find an audience in regular Nigerian homes, especially those who subscribe to that side of christiandom.

Even a performer as awesome as Frank Edwards has his off moments and Idi Mma is one of them, never rising beyond basic praise and worship territory. Under the Canopy is derivative and a poor deployment of Edwards’ immense talents and Defender is far from interesting.

The premium issue of Born in July is quite unnecessary as it dilutes the punch that the record could have had at a respectable eight tracks as originally envisioned. It isn’t the best Frank Edwards work out there, suffers from way too many fillers and comes nowhere near approaching the sheer beauty of some of his best efforts. Not even nowhere near the flawed but lovable, Frankincense, his penultimate record.

Undoubtedly a vanity project, Born in July will just have to hold the forte until the next proper Frank Edwards record arrives. Hopefully it will be a return to form.

Album Name: Born In July
Artist:  Frank Edwards
Year: 2017
Tracks: 8

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Wilfred Okiche

Wilfred Okiche

Wilfred Okiche is a movie buff and music head. He is still waiting for that one record that will change his life and remains ever optimistic. You can follow him on Twitter @drwill20

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