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Bryan The Mensah WILD LIFE (EP) 1 Listen Review

Bryan The Mensah is the quintessential African millennial artist, his prior project, Friends With The Sun was a portmanteau of styles that caused regional ripples, from Accra to Ibadan his brilliance was celebrated and led to a meet with Cassper Nyovest.

He followed up with some loosies and guest spots across the continent, gradually Bryan’s music became a common denominator among young adults in Africa.

We loved it and as OneMotolani decidedly put it last year, Bryan was “defining a new wave of sonic fusion to unified perfection."

The sonic fusion in all honesty characterized the style of the bulk of artists who broke out from SoundCloud in the last couple of years.

While we have welcomed them, we also look on with expectations that they metamorphose into artists who get better at their craft because progressing up the steps to superstardom requires a plethora of factors and prospect and shock value can only take you so far.

With his latest, W I L D L I F E, the cover art suggests another experimental passage which I am eager to embark on.

Will Bryan continue his steady march into the playlists of this generation? How will he fare alongside his guests? These questions and many more are what we seek answers to, see you on the other side.

This is the debut one listen review on Urban Central and these are the rules: no skipping, no fast-forwarding, no rewinding and no stopping. Each song will receive my gut and unfiltered reaction from start to finish.

Let’s get it.

1. Ask my friends/Life is a Distin

A Lion’s roar starts things off, this is fantastic. I like these lyrics. Ok some drums for my head to nod to. Where did the drums go?

This little segue sounds like a film score for a scene where the car is approaching the haunted house, we are back to the singing.

An advice on friendship transitions into more singing and some kind of conventional rapping. This is packed with subs at fair weather friends and those who failed to see the sign.

2. Groove (feat E.L.)

Keyboards and heavy breathing. Agresssive rapping and some quotables to boot, this is groovy production. The king of tea definitely has the juice. E.L has arrived and reminds me instantly of why I rated him back when I was in University.

Bryan if you read this just know I am considering using “me I no Dey like discussion cuz discussion just be too long” as my new catch phrase.

I am getting Post Malone vibes with this, birds chirping in the background, this is exotic (DJ Khaled voice). I like this.

3. Bad Zone

Is that the sound of an electric transmission, I believe that goes with the theme of this album if I remember the cover art correctly.

Kicks and then Bryan is brooding over someone, this is Drake meets Isley Brothers levels of sulking. Offer and acceptance babe, offer and acceptance.

She really did Bryan dirty and seems she settled for less, why babe? Why? This is a bop and some more with a well designed chorus, this is the chorus we are going to recite at the shows.

I immediately envision Bryan as the archetypical gloomy character looking out from a window thinking about his babe as the rains batters the reverse of the glass window.

This song is sad, what is this feeling overcoming me, why am I thinking about an ex? Well played Bryan well Played.

4. Somebody

I want to state categorically that I love how all these songs begin, there’s time to catch my breath and adjust my wrist as I type.

This features Efya and she lets us know she’s here, another song about a girl but she’s making Bryan excited for the future, no offense Bryan, but if I see her I am keeping her - I need warmth as well.

Efya is here, she’s so breezy with it, if coconut cocktails could talk they’d sound like Efya, I don’t know if that’s a compliment or if I have been watching too much Wild’n Out - probably the latter, don't judge me.

Efya compliments Bryan here like officials do Barcelona in La Liga - glaringly. I’m doing a weird shuffle with my legs as Efya rides out the beat till fade.

5. Dabi Dabi

I am scanning my brain to see if I know what Dabi Dabi means, unsurprisingly I do not. This is alive but I do not think it is for me, I however like the vocal partitioning going on here, I may have to revisit this just to be sure.

6. On My Own

We are at a fair with this, I see a Pony Carousel galloping majestically to this opening sequence, Bryan rides in with what is becoming a signature style, we have Ad-libs here and It is trippy.

Bryan doesn’t shy away from writing good lyrics and this is another testament. Chance The Rapper needs to reach out to Bryan for a feature - Bryan just called out babes who get airtime from the supposed boo and do not call supposed boo back, tears, brethren.

There’s a vast array of women in Bryan’s life and I’d love to meet all of them.

7. Source (Ft B4Bonah)

Exciting is the first word that comes to mind here, Bryan has the ability to make feel good music and still have you checking for his lyrics, he has picked his features well throughout the project and B4Bonah is one artist I need to go check out.

8. Tell Me (Ft Eri Ife)

There is more singing here, this is made to soundtrack dance floors and that is where I want to be with this song playing right now.

This is simple and the reverbs are awesome, I love this as well. Top 5 so far, to be smitten by a woman is not a novel topic but there is something that has gotten me hooked to this song.

9. Count one me (Feat N.O)

While I’m trying to decipher what N.O means, the song begins and our host is assured here, who didn’t support you Bryan? N.O’s flow is a Y.E.S, the basketball reference to close out his verse is sharp.

I believe we can milly rock to this, it’s over, that was short. Wait there’s a beat switch and then an abrupt fade

10. The Low/Oath (Ft Kojo Cue)

The tenth and final track, what a journey this has been, “I can’t deal with debits” is a mood folks, the instrumental is suddenly stripped down, before it begins to build up again, Cue is here with some advice, these adlibs have been fire so far, a bit repetitive but I can work with it.

The second segment of this track is here and this is the Bryan I like, the Cudi essence is heavenly, Bryan is a talent and he sure knows how to close out a project. This second part should have been longer, I was not ready for that end.

W I L D L I F E FIRST LISTEN THOUGHTS

10 tracks, an unwinding journey, a diverse set of guests, a project that houses very good songs well within his strengths. I like how Bryan The Mensah creates music, it’s light and allows you enjoy it without too much hassle.

The Rap influences are there to see, however they do not overshadow his other visible pulls. His music can be described as eclectic and heterogeneous; one minute percussion instruments are serenading you, the next your arms are folded and you are swaying from side to side uncontrollably.

Music will continually be judged collectively, as a whole Bryan's album is decent, it is when we begin to pull apart the working parts we hear flaws.

His topical discourse didn’t undergo a dramatic overhaul since Friends With The Sun but I am not complaining, while it is ideal to state that an artist should be free to create whatever they want, we must also balance that with the truth and realize that it is not illegal to demand artistic growth.

With that said, disloyal friends, credit scores and companionship are ok discussions for humans, particularly young adults still grappling with the passage into full blown adulthood.

Upon first listen, some of the questions raised have been allayed,while others linger unanswered, Bryan is improving without a doubt and as he continues his march towards greatness, there is an expectation that we will see more telling signs of him sifting through his methods and styles.

This project is enjoyable and will definitely resonate with existing fans as well as providing an entry point for those who want to get into this young man’s discography.

Urban Central Evaluation

Production: 3/4

Lyrics, Content and Depth: 2/4

Shelf Life and Influence: 3/4

Novelty: 2/4

Enjoyability: 4/4

Total: 14/20

Verdict: Tier 2 #LoudBang

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