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LOFN 2: Cheat Code Review

It’s Friday evening and it has been an arduous week of work. My phone suddenly chimes and for a minute I close my eyes and hope it’s a message from that one girl on whatsapp who has left my last message on “read” and yet still updates her whatsapp status by the hour.

But it wasn’t from her. It was a message from Kwame. I had saved his name as “K.O Nico” — just for the good measure of the anonymity he so carefully guards.

“Evening bro” he had sent. “what do you think about reviewing Love Music?”

“Love Music?? Is this a name of an album? or like a genre?” I typed back in reply.

“Nope” he replied responding to my first chat string. “It’s an album or collection of songs”

He shared a link and with one click, I got into listening to what would define the rest of my weekend. Nevertheless, I would be reviewing just three cuts from the 12-track album and would encourage you all to go listen for your selves and enjoy beautiful music.

First things first, the title of this collection of songs compilation is “LOFN2: A Collection of Love Stories” meaning, as you would have rightly guessed, it is a sequel to “LOFN1", with various artiste contributing to this body of work. However, I bet some of you novices, like myself, had no idea that “LOFN” is not an acronym but a word, which as it appears, is pronounced almost to sound like “loving”

So, just a bit of epistemology lesson before we delve into the album. As it turns out, “Lofn” is the name of a goddess who aids those having trouble winning the affections of their beloveds. This definition is rooted in Scandinavian mythology and upon realizing this fact, the getting into listening to this album took a completely different turn. My ears were peaked, and I adjusted my head phones as I click on play.

Track 1 — On for Later — A.D.A.M

This track kicks of the album in an almost somber tone, reminisce of Drake’s Marvin’s room. It starts off with two lovers –presumably- talking over the phone in hush bedroom voices, as one says he misses the other’s lips and the other says “Maybe I’ll come over later”. In my opinion, the idea was good from the producers of this album to start with this erotic-esque dialogue. However, as I listened to it further, it began to feel too much like one of my tinder hook-up conversation rather than an actual rapport between two intimately anxious individuals trying to hint at a rendezvous romp.

But I digress.

The hook comes on and from the track-list, I see that the vocals are from Oyewunmi Damola, Oyewunmi should go get himself an EP soon.

His voice is wonderfully sonorous. Nothing outstanding about the lyrics.

you’re the one to touch the part of me no one could find

Your thinking is amazing, gladly I would call you mine

Just wanna kiss your lips and hear what’s on your mind.

To be honest, a friend of mine, Efe could have as well written this hook and I’d be least impressed with the words. (Pfft, Drip Lord My A-)

Again, I digress.

I then wait patiently for A.D.A.M to come on rapping, but it doesn’t seem as though he’s ready as the hook or extended bridge/chorus or verse keeps going with the singer repeating words like “on your mind” and rhyming it with “all the time” and then hinting at the title of the song by singing “On for later, baby girl we on for later” — also, alluding to the introductory dialogue that had kicked off the song at the start.

The singing goes on for the next thirty seconds and I believe at 2:25, I came to the realization that maybe Oyewunmi wasn’t the one on the hook, but rather I had been listening to A.D.A.M all this while simply because I wrongly assumed that he had to be a rapper with such a name.

Well, my bad.

With that realization, the song comes to an end as it turns out, A.D.A.M is a beautiful singer and Oyewunmi did a great job with the backup vocals.

Track 2 — I’ll be Waiting — Vader the Wildcard

Now, I was certain this had to be a rapper’s name and I wasn’t wrong. Vader starts off with the usual throat-clearing, “uhh”, causing a wide grin to spread across my face. Finally, I was in familiar territory. I love rap and I was optimistic that this would be a good one. The track had a similar somber undertone just like the first track, as it appears that the producer “Nano” substituted a finger-snapping sound to replace pockets on the beats that otherwise would have been filled by some drum kicks if it were been prepared for everyone’s favorite 5-foot Chairman.

I liked it.

It is a soothing song and Vader does his rapping in an almost poet-like manner — taking you on a journey with him as the humming’s in the background serenades your ears. I don’t think Vader intended for the song to feel sad — although the nostalgic emotion it exudes does feel intentional — but it feels eerily so.

Wasn’t sure of anything since I graduated

I ruined everything that had me infatuated

But clarity hit the moment I had you in it.

Vader continually pours his adulation on his lover and sounds so in tune with the emotions his lyrics project. Eventually the hook comes in at about 2:25 and although the voice seemed familiar, I hesitated to assume it was someone else besides Vader himself, as there was no indication on the track-list of any additional vocals.

But Vader’s verse lingers in my mind, although some part of me felt as though he never really finished saying what he intended to. Afterward, a wave of sadness sweeps over me as I realize why the song felt eerily sad as I had earlier insinuated.

Vader had a lover he adored. I didn’t.

Track 10 — To All the Girls — Dwin, The Stoic.

In my opinion, this is the best track from the album and up until the moment of penning this down, it has been on repeat, as I cannot seem to get enough of it. With a simple guitar cord in the background, Dwin’s singing almost feels like an acapella session. He opens his singing with the lyrics:

I see you’re doing quite well

It’s been about a year or more

I see all the pictures you post from your vacay

And I must say you look good.

The song has Dwin singing to us a letter he wrote to his former lover as he asks to know how she’s faring and wishes her well in her life. Dwin is careful not to sound too apologetic in his lyrics. He doesn’t give us a sense that he had hurt this ex-lover but we get a whiff of the fact that he still cares for her and that although life happened, whatever they had shared in the past was just as real as their diverging present.

The track boasts of the kind of lyrical simplicity that one would expect from a famous American country artiste, except that Dwin The Stoic is very Nigerian and he does not fail to channel that into his lyrics as well, as he sings

…I found, your number won’t go

and my text won’t deliver, and it seems you’re never online

If that doesn’t sound very Nigerian and Glo “network-y” to you then I don’t know what will. Dwin rounds off the letter by singing:

I hope life’s treating you well

And I hope you don’t lose your smile

And I know it’s been far too long to be writing this now

So, I say, this is a letter to all of the girls that I’ve loved before

And I’m writing to you cause, you’re one of the girls that I’ve loved before

It’s fair to say the last line also shows us that Dwin, like most Nigerian men, might have a “Menaskum” tendency as one could easily dub the song to be about one of the girls he’s ever loved before or about all of them.

That been said, I understand if these three songs reviewed here might not be someone else’s cup of tea once they listen to the album. But do ensure you listen to it and keep in mind that “LOFN 2” is a unique body of work and its replay value boils down to the track you can best relate to as a listener.

Thus, this is what the album basically achieves: it allows each artiste to tell their own love story, uniquely, and permit listeners to pick a story/stories from this collection to which they can best relate to.

LOFN 2 is the kind of music cupid would have on his playlist as he wields his bow and arrows and takes aim at unsuspecting folks; the arrows springing off from the bow as the goddess herself guides its trajectory to ensure it smites its intended target just where it “LOFN-ingly” hurts.

Just on cue my phone chimes. I stare at the screen with a smile on my face. She finally replied — that one girl from whatsapp.

By Mifa for Urban Central, Tweets @Mifaunuagbo_

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