Falana is ‘Rising’ on new project [Pulse EP Review]

In the end, it feels nice to see Falana experiment with proper lamba.

Falana - Rising. (TBD)

Falana is one of Nigeria’s most talented artists. She has a distinctively powerful voice and carries an Afro-Caribbean hairstyle for unique identifiers. She is beautiful, dark-skinned and talented. Her voice is sultry, yet fiery: like it could cut through a willing and giddy human being with the exactitude of painful death while an audience applauds her.

In 2019, she released her critically-acclaimed debut EP, Chapter One and got a Headies nomination for her efforts. Her music is a product of different influences. As a millennial Nigerian bred in Canada and nurtured by Cuba, Falana’s music has deep roots in black culture; contemporary and classic.

She also wields her vocals as an emblematic strength, which she tweaks to reflect the emotions behind topics on her songs.

Rising is her sophomore EP. A 7-track project, it was released on October 15, 2021. It also feels like a sequel to her aptly titled debut, ‘Chapter One.’ As she grows as an artist, with fame, purpose and acclaim, it’s only fair that her sophomore effort carries a tag like ‘Rising.’

This time, Falana does away with abstract topics, metaphoric deliveries and symbolism. Instead, she addresses topics with clarity. She also dabbles in more pop-esque music, by way of Synth and Afro.

Rising’ isn’t a cohesive concept album with a central theme, canvassed by different songs. Instead, the EP feels like an anthology of different stories, themes and life points. To some listeners, it might feel like a diary session.

Only the gratitude-filled Afro-pop record ‘Joy’ and ‘Wishing On A Star,’ which sees Falana yearn for lost love, affected by a breakup feel personal. It feels like Falana created other records around things that she witnessed as a spectator. Regardless, each topic is ‘grown,’ while not discussing love with explicit language.

‘Paper Planes’ is an Afro-Fusion record, built around declarations of undying love. ‘Energy’ is a one-sided perspective about the reception of love without shackles, built on Synth Pop. With the amazing harmonization which forms its post-chorus, ‘Cassanova’ is similar to ‘Energy’ in its one-sided chronicle of love. The love feels great momentarily, but the guy might be a player.

Sweet Adetola’ is an empirical story delivered in third person. It documents the life of a beautiful Nigerian girl with dreams, while struggling to balance morals and need for finances in a big city.

She enjoys the attention and loves the good life, compliments and attention. But beneath it all, she’s afraid while harboring the ‘Nigerian dream’ of Japa.

Behind each song lies three elements; guitar chords, which reflect her background in Alternative music and Africanism: by way of her percussion, her enunciation, her backing vocals or her delivery, and impeccable, expressive and detail-oriented songwriting, as is peculiar to Falana.

The EP is perfect but for two things; ‘Sweet Adetola’ is a few seconds longer than necessary and ‘Joy’ should have been the final track.

In the end, it feels nice to see Falana experiment with proper lamba.

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

Album Sequencing: 1.8/2

Themes and Delivery: 1.8/2

Production: 1.8/2

Enjoyability and Satisfaction: 1.8/2

Execution: 1.5/2

Total:

8.7 - Champion

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