Love, Damini: A Dazzling Emblem On Afro-fusion In Africa. A Review Of Burna Boy's New Album Love Damini. In Nigeria especially, few artists are very intentional about their musical artistry. Ranging from songwriting, versatility, and reflecting relatable Africanism, down to the catchy hooks and without mincing words, Burna Boy is top two on the list and definitely not the second.
Love Damini: A Dazzling Emblem On Afro-fusion In Africa. A Review Of Burna Boy's New Album
Love Damini: A Dazzling Emblem On Afro-fusion In Africa. A Review Of Burna Boy's New Album
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As a global artist, listeners all across the world were eager to hear what the legendary Afro-fusion artist had in store for them.
In the months leading up to the album, Burna had released two singles off the album - “Kilometre" and “Last Last” which built up listeners’ anticipation for the new album. Although the latter garnered more airwaves and acceptance than the former, the two singles proved that the artist has honed his skills and mastered walking the tightrope of “Afro-fusion" — an amalgam of Afrobeats, dancehall, rap and R&B.'
The bar has been raised and so his pedestal is way too high, perhaps higher than can be met, so any complaints after listening to Love, Damini remain valid.
Focusing on the content embedded in Love, Damini. Burna radiates brightly on subjects like; Love, self- interrogation, PH city peril, experience, pains, triumphs and heartbreak while entering the next phase of his life.
This tune is a definite tone setter for the album. Just like most of Burna Boy's albums, the opening track is always symbolic. It starts with an African hymn, On the opening track “Glory,” the beautiful voices of the South African choral group Ladysmith Black Mambazo repeatedly chant, “This is my story,” segueing into the very European Happy Birthday song, giving a semblance to "Level Up" with Youssou N Dour in Twice At Tall.
Burna's entry is smooth yet emotional, he reflected and wrestles with his grief; "Lately, I've Been Fucked Up, Been Having A Hard Time Like Back When My Dawg Died". He flexed his musical prowess by hitting higher octaves at some point while taking the chorus, looks like Burna Boy intended to outshine every vocalist he collaborates with.
This is an instant hit. Reminiscent of "anybody" in the African Giant album. There's a saccharine quality to it. Almost like it was designed to hold your hand or waist and lead you into dance and eternal enjoyment. "When you dey whine, you dey do me science"; One could say the producer went back to listen to "Anybody", tweaked it and made a few improvements.
The sax and the percussion on "Science" blend nicely, laced with the soft guitar, but the wind instruments stood out. One of the party jams on the album.
3. Cloak and Dagger
This is a piece of funky music with an uptempo beat. The most anticipated collaboration on the album. Burna Boy's versatility came to play in the chorus and the hook. Shows how he has improved his vocals over the years. Crispier, compared to the gravelly tenor on the Outside LP. J Hus flow was fluidy and steamy - carrying energy.
This track exudes the braggadocious of a true African Giant. Burna Boy vaunts his greatness and a reminder that he's been doing it for ages via, kilometre; He sings, "I don tey for the game Shina Peters"; This allusion and understanding of his greatness underscores what African Giants depicts, for someone whose confidence is palpable and almost infectious. He is sure no one else is better at music, at least none of his contemporaries are. "Oya come make I give you the gist (gist,) when's the last time somebody did it like this? (this)..."; An infectious jam. Immediately very likeable.
This song pierces through you and you begin to lose consciousness in the rhythm and consequently lift your legs, and your hands and finally baptize your whole body into the rhythmic beats and the idyllic voice that suits it.
Burna tried his falsetto here and it's commendable. The song is laced with guitar ticks and distant reggae horns.
What's a Burna boy album without a piece of socially conscious music? The intro to this song is everything - gives the theme of the song, a song specially made to expose the ills of his city. A double-kick beat carried through with brass instruments.
Burna's deep baritone slowly unveils an assertion that every Nigerian resident today can relate to, especially if you live in Port Harcourt.
7. Last Last
Burna Boy’s brilliance at making a post-heartbreak song like this danceable while evading your mind away from the pains is magical. A sampled track from Toni Braxton "He wasn't man enough" led through by an underlying sound of a guitar.
Burna Boy illustrates how suburban boys process heartbreak in the trenches, seeking solace in the company of friends and booze — chanting "I need Igbo and shayoo"; Throughout the song, Burna did not waste a single word. The delivery was smooth.
8. Different Size ft Victony
This is a combo we never expected to have this early. Introduced by squid game soundtrack effects. Burna has never missed on any Amapiano, and he didn't disappoint here.
Victony's entry is perfect, Sublime vocals, lo-fi and calm. His preference for bum bum always stands, magnifying the abundance and difference of gluteus maximus. Brilliant production too. It's a party jam.
9. It's plenty
"It's plenty" is sure to brighten anyone’s day. The song’s melody is irresistible and the hook is simple to memorize. Albeit, the production of this song is faulty, making it bland. There are noticeable misplacements of the beat.
10. Dirty Secrets
This tune has the laid-back afro groove that is typical of Burna boy. A soothing, calm, lovey-dovey song. It's one for the two lovers on the dance floor because of the heavy kicks in the background. This song sounds like a lustful dialogue with his lover, "Your body nah weapon, mo de fe showo kan, I dey sacrifice my money tonight.."; celebrating love in its purest form.
Toni-Ann Singh is a Caribbean-infused Jamaican joint that sees Burna boy putting together a masterpiece alongside Popcaan. The synergy on this track exudes a perfect vibe, you can't get enough of the track, one of the songs with the most replay value, the spontaneous change in rhythm makes it a summer kind of song.
Popcaan's chorus shines brightly and the guitar ticks playing in the background are the masterstroke of the track.
12. Solid ft Blxst & Kehlani
"Solid" is a solid love ballad, Kehlani is pop royalty and Blxst put in a perfect shift.
The sonorous voice of Kehlani makes it a Pop and unarguably, one of the best songs on the album.
13. For My Hand ft Ed Sheeran
Seems Ed and Burna's collaboration is made in heaven. I mean, look at the syrupy "hold my hand." entry — sweet and simple, an unlikely source of enjoyment.
The duet was seamlessly harmonious. Unassuming, but deeply rewarding with Burna's deep baritone voice taking the auto for Ed's voice.
While the obvious focus is the syrupy vocal delivery. Underneath is where the magic is at. Very Lo-Fi, then picks up slowly with the percussion to make for good music.
The lyrics are poetic and no doubt, this is the best song on the album!
14. Rollercoaster ft J Balvin
Rollercoaster is a dancehall-tinged song, J Balvin - a post-reggaeton icon J Balvin on the aptly-titled “Rollercoaster maintained a balanced frequency on the flow of the beat. Although I didn't understand the language he speaks, the delivery is top-tier.
Pure Afrobeat song. The sax intro in this track is heavenly. Depicts Burna's preferred style. There's so much life in this song.
Almost like the record was designed to drag you into an open-air party, where everyone creates a circle for a fun conga.
It becomes clearer when you watch the video. The gaiety animates and draws you in. A party jam!
16. Common person
This is another socially conscious track on the album. A representation of an average poor Nigerian. The track is lured by guitar and horn sequencing after each verse. There is one soft sax tone operating inside the tune. It's quiet, whispering calmly to you, as that deep voice enters your brain. A dark affair, a spiritual vibe.
17. Wild Dreams ft Khalid
The duo put in their A game. A motivational track laced with profound lyrics, sublime vocals and calm delivery. Khalid's vocal is everything, Burna left no stone unturned, and went hard on the outro, preaching you must stand tall and never lay down your heads just to prove a humble point.
18. How Bad Could It Be
Burna flaunts his pen game in this track. "When it's raining, you wish the sun was shining; When the sun shines, you wish the rain was falling; You're always searching, never seem to find it, Looking in all the wrong places"
The emotions and the pains in this song are evident and the uncrowded beat shows the mastery of the artist's versatility on any beat.
19. Love, Damini ft Ladysmith Black Mambazo
A well compacted soulful album deserves a perfect closing track picturing the feelings of the artist. Being the face of pan-African and his influence on the world. The artist reeks of regrets of his past years "should have talked to Sound Sultan more before he fucking died, I should show people more love while they still alive.";
It's a reflection Track. A personal song which takes us to the artist's head.
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