With 11 successful studio albums on his C.V, 9ice rightfully lays claim to being the Greatest Of All Time
For Alexander Abolore Ajifolajifaola popularly known as 9ice, life has thrown everything at him including the kitchen sink but yet he stands tall and can boast of a sure-fire career.
From his breakout single, 'Little Money' in the mid 2000s, to the success that came with Gongo Aso which made him a household name and bagged him several awards, he has earned his stripes in the industry.
Surviving a failed marriage and a political detour which all aided a slump in his career, 9ice proved to be a cat with nine lives when he scored a major hit last year with his single 'Living Things'.
In a fickle industry, where albums are no longer considered time worthy, the Alapomeji head recently put out his 11th studio effort, where he tests his popularity ratings by ascribing to himself, the title of the Greatest Of All Time.
Every single 9ice album from the really successful ones to even the average ones are all cut along the same cloth.
Filled with rich Yoruba proverbs, innuendos and metaphors, 9ice has refused to pander to the dictates of the industry and has stuck with a formula that worked for him in the past as he doesn't stray too far off on 'G.O.A.T', thriving on his message and his niche.
The album opener 'Allow', begins with an 'Ewi', a Yoruba eulogy in his name as he addresses his many critics.
It is a slow smooth joint that eases you into the album as he addresses the questions that have been attached to his name of late, 'When are you giving us another hit song like Gongo Aso? 9ice, when are you getting married again, 9ice, When are you going back to Toni Payne? 9ice, Do this, do that''. This is a solid opener to the album.
'Love don't cost a thing' has a bouncy feel as he preaches love across all board, on 'E O Mo Meme' , which sees the albums only guest feature in Beamtaylor, a Yoruba female rapper who fails to leave an impact with the lacklustre verse, as 9ice comes across unfiltered stating that while others are chasing a hit record, he is seeking classics.
Previously released singles 'Pabanbari' and 'Basiri Mi', bounce off the same themes of braggadocious lyrics and wishful thinking.
'TGIF' is another good turn-up tune for the close of work on Friday. 'Go Gaga' is influenced by present hit songs from other Nigerian artistes but doesn't quite connect in the same way that Reekado Banks and Tiwa Savage achieved on 'Like'.
The album stumbles at the middle with uninspiring songs in 'Love you like Kilode', which is packed with repetitive lines and 'Air Comodore'.
'Temple' produced by long time friend and mentor, ID Cabasa is one of the few standout joints on the project, as he finds his home at God's feet, 'Lay Low No' has a message for younger artistes as he advices, 'One single, o tin form, two single, o tin come, full album you are done''.
Final track, 'Tonight' closes the album in a similar tepid and characterless pattern lacking the legs to build a final convinction.
With 16 tracks, that spans across 58 minutes, G.O.A.T isn't great, not even close. Working with an array of producers, 9ice doesn't lose his essence as there is really no joint calibrated to be a club banger or leaning towards trending sounds.
G.O.A.T is an album that showcases his confidence and present state of mind, but yet manages to fall short, not just in execution but in making a statement. The lyrics are bare on many of the songs and leave nothing to hold onto.
To lay claim to being the greatest in any field, perfection and consistency are key, but on this album, he fails at both.
There is no time defining song that will last on music play-lists beyond a couple of months, and bar a sprinkle of artistic brilliance on some songs, the album is packed with too many banal joints that fails to leave any impact in todays music.
3-Worth Checking Out