URBAN CENTRAL REVIEWS: SOUNDS FROM THE OTHER SIDE
Wizkid is a Nigerian musical phenomenon and everything he does is wavy; from the onset in Nigerian/African Music he’s taken the liberty to create his own version of “perfection” in his craft. Personally I’m a huge fan of the artist, so trust me when I say I felt me writing this album review would be biased. But then, balance is key — I do have a responsibility to music and the culture after all.
Naturally, he always been a golden boy. Even before his mainstream launch, after his apperance on Fast Money Fast Cars,he had some buzz under the radar as The Next Big Thing — he has music running through his veins. With his debut single HOLLA AT YOUR BOY (January 2nd 2010) he got what most artistes dream of as he took the country, nigh the continent by storm with his soulful vocals which sent the ladies on some vicious errands. The past one year has been good to this man and he’s been blessed with a new wave of international exposure. He’s headlining a new generation 0f artistes that could introduce African sounds to the world. Like Cassper Nyovest says;
Although I was initially skeptical about him, they were evaporated when he released his follow up hit singles; TEASE ME, April 2nd 2010, DON’T DULL, December 5 2010, PAKUROMO, December 10th 2010, SUPERSTAR, June 12 2011 and let’s not forget his sensational ‘LONDON GIRL’. In between these and BADDEST BOY in 2012, he cemented his place as the new King of Afro-pop even with song you would deem freestyle that you would be very wrong to opine that he hasn’t been the Starboy he claimed to be right from the days of EME, till when he decided to come out with his own label StarBoy Entertainment.
Even though he experienced a quasi-rough spell around 2013–2014, he managed to stay afloat with some good songs with the release of AYO. Whilst it received some negative reviews initially, the album grew on people, with major hit songs that showed him to the world with songs like ON TOP YOUR MATTER, JOY, JAIYE JAIYE and the mercurial OJUELEGBA, which made people revisit the album.
Forgive me guys, I would revel in my arse-kissing and praises, but I have engage in the primary purpose; reviewing Sounds From the Other Side. So, let’s get it…
SOUNDS FROM THE OTHER SIDE:
The SFTOS album/tape is his 3rd full length project as an artist
Lol, this album/tape ehn… First of all if we’ll be honest; the album title is poignant; it elicits the unconventional to the terrain he now belongs. When I first heard it I said to myself; “this is what DJ Khaled would do if he thought of a conceptual album title and took his mind off boisterous words like. ‘MAJOR, KEY, ONE’, ‘ANOTHER ONE'
I had already anticipated more international features since he became a frequent collaborator with Drake, Chris Brown — his soul brother and Ty Dolla Sign. I however dreamed of some soulful touch a la Alicia keys, Kelly Rowland or maybe Rihanna with the social media love and shoutouts he was getting from these folks, thus creating a network and hunger to pour out a powerful album but oh well “na were your money reach you go stop”.
While the house and I were having a roundtable discussion in our WhatsApp group (please read Secret Headquarters) (lol), one of us said and I quote “I love the cover art idea..”. In music, the art is key. It must sell itself — simple but yet complex to achieve for beauty and substance like Kanye West’s YEEZUS album cover. Team Wizkid created something nice and simple for the cover of this tape and as such we have to respect them for that even though it wasn’t quit unique or anything. Well done.
Even with a fantastic artwork my brother/sister whoever is reading this, if you don’t give us good songs, you are still crap. BANGDARARANG! I took my liberty to listen and download this album and not just listen, I took a pen and paper and rated each song over then and created an average, thus giving me a general average score for the album in total and I will share them with you:
Now the SFTOS album/tape is said to be of 12 songs
Meaning that the album itself will be divided by 12 not 10
Sweet Love: 7
Come Closer feat Drake: 8
Naughty Ride feat Major Lazer: 7.2
African Bad Gyal feat Chris Brown: 8
Daddy Yo: 7.5
One for Me feat Ty Dolla Sign: 6
Picture Perfect: 5
All for Love feat Bucie: 5
Dirty Wine: 7
Gbese feat Trey Songs: 7.5
Overall Average Album Rating over 10: 69.2/12 = 5.7 = 5.7
SFTOS = 5.7
There is nothing spectacular about this album. It feels like a collation of singles to test the waters and if we’re going to be honest, it’s not quite there.
While we can only judge Wizkid on good sounds and his ability to make us dance, not on lyricism, you would expect more with his access to a plethora of songwriters and producers both home and abroad. While label influence might have limited his freedom, he could still have crafted a better album, on better production, even though this one isn’t bad.
Furthermore, he needs to define his goal; Is it to crack the foreign market or to appease the Nigerian listeners? Because right now, he looks lost as STFOS isn’t quite good enough to crack the American Market — for that he needs to dig deeper into South African House, Raggaeton, Nigerian dance, Ghanaian sounds, South American flavors and some Caribbean essence which I believe could help craft the sound he needs; a unique one to engineer to actually have a chance at crossover success which you can’t do with a feeling of I have arrived. It requires work — and he needs to keep it simpler if he really wants to own the Nigerian market.
While it is typical Wizkid to have an album filled with potential party bangers, it needs some work to reach the level of Superstar or even Ayo. I give him props for international features too, and congrats on being one of the first, but that’s never good enough to make a good album. It’s all about quality of output and essence. STFOS gives you the feeling that something is lacking.
Urban Central Rating: Tier 3 — #HomeTheatre
Logic: The initial rating was scored on 10, Urban Central Ratings are scored on 5. Thus, it was divided into 2 for which it scored about 2.7, which we have rounded up to 3.
For a detailed analysis of our rating system. Please click here.
By Clover for UrbanCentral @CloverDaddy on twitter
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