Barry Jhay’s debut EP, ‘Barry Back’ is better than people realize [EP Review]

As a whole, this EP is better than people say it is. The only problem is just that Barry Jhay couldn’t find a groundbreaking song amidst the good songs.

Barry Jhay’s debut EP, ‘Barry Back’ is better than people realize. (Twitter/BarryJhay)

In a lot of ways, this project is at least one year late. However, we will accept it - what choice do we have. On listening to the project, I just want to say it is better than anyone said it is - it’s a good listen. Barry Jhay finds a unique, sustained use of his folk vocals range that is sharpened for contemporary pop. Two days after the project dropped, it was the fifth most-streamed new album on Audiomack.

The opening track is befitting of this EP as it showcased Barry Jhay’s best trait, his beautiful voice and its ability to cut through socio-political chatter like hot knife through butter. With its beautiful melody, Barry Jhay uses the beat to wish great things upon himself. ‘Ashe She’ is Yoruba for, ‘it will be possible.’

So far, this album feels like listening to a musical prayer session by Kwam 1 with the vocal of an offspring of Klever Jay and 9ice. On a pon pon beat with strings suited to gospel music, Barry Jhay pauses to find positive defiance amidst the struggle. He then reassures himself that it will be possible.

‘Daddy’ is built on a ‘vibe’ suited for Wizkid or Runtown. On it, Barry Jhay built a love song on which he reads out his benevolent and amorous intentions to a faceless woman. ‘Only You’ is another love song. Produced by Fresh VDM, it feels cut from the DMW sound.

With an interpolation of Michael Jackson’s ‘Don’t Stop Till You Get It On, ‘ for a bridge, Davido and Barry Jhay who have a friendship outside music vibe and deliver. On a dance-pop tune with an afrobeats essence, ‘Pa Mi’ is a dedication to Jhay’s love for weed. ‘Under The Duvet’ could have done with a Joeboy or Fireboy feature.

It’s an amazing R&B song built on folk percussion. ‘Ma So Pe’ brings us back into the conversations of goodwill and connection to a higher being. That was again the theme on ‘Money’ and ‘Superstar.

As a whole, this EP is better than people say it is. The only problem is just that Barry Jhay couldn’t find a groundbreaking song amidst the good songs. That said, it's obvious what Barry Jhay was trying to do - be different to the other pop stars by having substance and content in his music.

He achieved that excellently and not once did he drop the ball even once. This made him seem like a Yoruba folk singer doing pop and it resonates really well. He has substance to his lyrics - he’s also a good songwriter. However, he needs to expand his topical conversations beyond wishes, words of affirmation and songs about the supreme being. He could do a lot more with this talent.

If he’s not careful, even though he might never drop a bad song, he could be judged harshly as a guy who repeats the same patterns. Ergo, his topics must be expansive. Equally, Barry Jhay needs to stop intentionally keeping himself in his father’s shadow - it will be counter-productive to his brand long-term.

Ratings: /10

• 0-1.9: Flop

• 2.0-3.9: Near fall

• 4.0-5.9: Average

• 6.0-7.9: Victory

• 8.0-10: Champion

Pulse Rating: /10

Tracklist: 1.5/2

Content and Themes: 1.5/2

Production: 1.1/2

Enjoyability and Satisfaction: 1.0/2

Execution: 1.0/2

Total:

6.1 - Victory

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