This attention-grabbing approach works. It comes off as a burst of colour, a true African pop effervescence with little room for the dull stuff.
Album - The Ghen Ghen
Artiste - Orezi
Guest Appearances - Davido, M.I Abaga, Flavour, Timaya, Wizkid, Ice Prince, 9ice
Producers- Kiddominant, Popito, Mystro, Dr Amir, Dapiano, Ex O
Record Label - Sprisal Entertainment (2015)
Duration - 75 minutes
Orezi for many years has flirted with the big time as an artiste who boasts of just the right mix of vocals and hit-making ability, but no signature sound.
Many will point to his 2013 single ‘Rihanna’ as the starting point of his happiness in Nigerian pop culture, and they aren’t intrinsically wrong. Prior to that wonder-jam, the man hadn’t seen much come his way by acceptance.
Orezi had an EP released in 2010. It was titled “I No Fit Lie”, and housed decent tracks such as ‘High B.P’, and ‘I no fit lie’. But that was just a snippet of his ability. Time and experience has honed him into a fine pop artiste, and more hits such as ‘You garrit’, ‘Shoki’, Booty Bounce’ and Shuperu’ has been spawned. He has put forward his next foot, and released his debut studio album “The Ghen Ghen”.
First time lucky, as no one but an inveterate, deluded trier says. Still, that's the case here. “The Ghen Ghen” is as inspired by pop culture as every other single he has put out has been, a 75-minute, 21-song journey through every idea in Orezi’s cranium.
A number of these songs are amazing. The “The Ghen Ghen” album was crafted with an eye on slotting seamlessly into pop culture, while serving the best of music. Orezi harmoniously weaves in and out of genres, in ways so beautiful and mundane, and keeps you listening.
Less of a concept album, more of a patchwork, “The Ghen Ghen” runs together not so much seamlessly as breathlessly. The unusually smooth transitions from the personal and direct lyrical flow of the opener ‘Asiko’ to the cocky-Afrobeat glam thumping of ‘Maserati' ("I woke up in a new Maseratti") to the gorgeous banging club-lovers dancing of ‘Shuperu remix' with Davido feel like they're leading to something, but it's illusory.
Soon everything's thrown into the mix – another meaningless but dance-worthy waist-rolling commercial music aptly titled ‘Low low' ("I get money for back, I get money to dash, wind am for me like that, roll your big yansh”), Then interestingly, some soothing deep, inspirational Afrobeat number which Fela would have approved fondly on 'Double your hustle' – as snippets of other genres flash by, until a stop at the heavy collaboration ‘Big Something’ which has the mastery of Flavour, and the genuine joy of M.I Abaga.
Another heavy hitting collaboration comes along just fine as pop stars Wizkid and Timaya find home in ‘Ogede’. Further down, Ice Prince brings on his versatile lines on ‘Jesus Pikin’, and 9ice is still a work in progress on ‘Da party ru’.
This attention-grabbing approach works. It comes off as a burst of colour, a true African pop effervescence with little room for the dull stuff. Maybe it would've been nice if Orezi added more experimentation and some more flavour to, say, the romantic romp of 'Sweet Yarinya’ and ‘Selfie with you’, but that wouldn't be the point. It’s “The Ghen Ghen” album and Orezi is doing what he wants. And, this time, others will want it too.
3-Worth Checking Out