Flavour's new album is very much thick with contemporary Highlife songs, while making way for some Naija pop cuts.
Album - Thankful
Artiste - Flavour
Guest Appearances - M.I, Chidinma, Phyno, M.I, Selebobo, Wande Coal
Producers - Masterkraft, Del B, Selebobo
Label - 2Nite Entertainment (2014)
Duration - 1 hour, 17 minutes
Flavour's new album 'Thankful' is a lengthy listen. Spanning 22 tracks and running for one hour, seventeen minutes, 'Thankful' is a long ride for those who can withstand the distance.
Thankfully (no pun intended) the hour plus LP feels like thirty minutes, thanks to Flavour showcasing his mastery of the elements of groove, and rhythm which are constant features in his brand of music.
Thanks to the consistency of these elements, 'Thankful' is a smooth listen that gently places you on a lush layer of contemporary highlife. While the language might act as a barrier to non-Igbo speaking listeners, the melody trapped in this palm-wine soaked album makes one connect to the core of this album- the groove.
The sweet twang of the guitar on 'Dance' is a hip mover reminiscent of the golden age of Highlife. That's the pulse of this album, highlife music crafted in Eastern Nigeria with a contemporary blend. Songs like 'Orinado', 'Mmege' featuring Selebobo, 'Inasonki', 'Believe', 'Munachi', and 'Igbo Amaka', are songs off the album that ensure it is a collection of unarguably the best highlife music we have in the country now.
Love is another strong theme on 'Thankful'. On 'Ololufe' featuring Chidinma, Flavour tries his hands on mellow love duet. Potentially, it smells like a crossover hit thanks to Flavour incorporating Yoruba words on the track. Another strong highlight from this album is the Igbo love ballad 'Golibe'. On 'Special One' Flavour produces a Reggae influenced song. "I've found that special one, it's you" declares Flavour just before the sax solo kicks in.
Having a Reggae track on a predominantly Highlife isn't odd for Flavour. There are several tracks where the singer turns up the heat by dropping pop tracks. Funk and disco glitter is all over the dance inducing 'Nwayo Nwayo'.
Thinking outside the box, the track 'Nwanyi Mbaise' is an electro mix of Highlife and pop. It is a stunning song that shows that Flavour is rightly pushing the boundaries of contemporary Highlife. The slow and breezy 'Wiser' featuring Phyno and M.I takes the topping as the standout song on the album.
Not all experiments work on the album. Flavour's collabo with fellow melody act Wande Coal 'Wake Up' is more noise than anything else.
Despite this solo blunder, Thankful is a strong, vibrant album composed by a master of the flavours of music.
Rating - 4 out 5.