A review of Unruly, Olamide’s epic studio album.
In the early hours of this morning, veteran Nigerian musician, popstar, and multi-dimensional artist Olamide became available for streaming worldwide. We decided to take a dive into the mind of the certified hitmaker to see what his highly anticipated album has to offer.
Olamide kicked off his career with his hit song Eni Duro in 2010. Since that time, he has become a regular face topping the Nigerian music charts with his subsequent projects.
From the beginning of his career, Olamide has also been keen on collaborating with his peers and fellow artists in the industry. This collaborative trait has not diminished as Unruly boasts collaborations and features from all over the industry.
An unruly sequence
Unlike what the name of the album denotes, the arrangement of this project is anything but unruly. The project has a cohesiveness that one can attribute only to the consistency of Olamide’s presence on the tracks. The album begins with the song ‘Celebration’ which is a song that opens with the most wonderful string intro. In Asake-like fashion, the song has wonderful accompanying chorus vocals throughout the song. The first track blends into the next song ‘Jinja’ as smoothly as milk blends into tea. Olamide’s sequencing game is very strong on this album and a listener will find that they’ve gotten to the end of the whole album before they realize it.
Not too old to experiment
Olamide has also shown a great ability to vary his sound. For someone who has been in the industry as long as he has, it would be easy to write his songs off as being only one thing or one sound. However, Olamide is taking his sound to interesting places and collaborating with excellent artists that allow his style to shine. From adopting the Ashake-esque chorus chant during his songs to even taking his traditional Yoruba rap style to a drill beat. All the songs are not perfect, some shine better than others but each song has something interesting for listeners to enjoy. Olamide garnishes each song with a harmonious blend of instruments from all over the sound spectrum to deliver a project full of interesting beats, lovely strings and exquisite production.
A bouquet of relevant themes
Olamide is not one to send only one message on a project and he is hardly ever one-dimensional. This album is no exception. He explores the themes of stoicism and love songs like ‘Life Goes On’ where he has to confront his changing feelings for his love interest. He is also fun and laid back on lighter songs like ‘Trumpet’ with Ckay.
The writing on the album is also better than the average because Olamide, having a great pen himself has paired that talent with amazing writers like Ckay, Fireboy DML and Rema.
Ultimately, this album truly reveals its depth upon subsequent listens, particularly the third or fourth time around. Initially, Jinja might not strike a chord with listeners, but it has gracefully ascended to become a standout track within the album. It’s a reminder to embrace the sonic journey and bask in the richness of quality music.
Overall Rating- 6.8/10