Hanujay delivers beautiful sonics on 'Wow, Can I Blow Your Mind' [Pulse EP Review]

‘Happy’ is by far, one of the best Nigerian songs of 2021. It deserves a nomination at the 2021 Headies.

Hanujay - Wow, Can I Blow Your Mind. (TBD)

On September 24, 2021, Nigerian singer, Hanujay released Wow, his fourth body of work in four years. A 8-track EP, ‘Wow’ is an experimental listen that seems to borrow from Chicago’s R&B/Soul scene, Afroswing and Nigeria’s alte scene for a dense sonic essence, which many would deem ‘Afro-pop.’

At the root of the project seems to be hunger and burning musical passion from Hanujay. He feels like a music head, who simply makes the music for satisfaction, not financial gratification. On the spectacular opening track ‘Happy,’ Hanujay seems to be barking orders to his choir and orchestra to get things hard.

On the track itself, Hanujay creates cinematic music; calm as a lake in the night and riveting as the beautiful tides of an ocean. Choristers lay seering vocals, which pierces through a barricade. In a lot of ways, the instrumentation on ‘Wow EP’ pushes listeners more towards appreciating musicality, over lyrics.

A listener might be tempted to focus on the instrumentation and sonics of the EP; be it the horns on ‘Alright’ and ‘Rhythm and Soul’ or the guitar chords on the eponymous ‘Wow,’ but a listener can’t escape the depth of Hanujay’s emotions. ‘Wow EP’ is definitely an emotional experience.

On ‘Happy,’ he passionately discusses how he aims to give his blood and sweat into music to blow minds with a ‘Wow’ effect. But at the root of those emotions seems doubt, which is underlined by he resignation to be ‘Alright,’ come what may.

Nonetheless, Hanujay still roots for life and love. He aims to ‘Party On The Moon.’ He lets love take centre stage on ‘Rhythm and Soul’ and ‘Wavy.’

While Hanujay hits the heights of this project with sonics and Made In Lagos-esque traits, his delivery is slightly rough around the edges. One can also argue that he doesn’t adequately utilize his vocals to match his high-calibre sonics. Nonetheless, this is a commendable body of work.

‘Happy’ is by far, one of the best Nigerian songs of 2021. It deserves a nomination at the 2021 Headies. The perfect balance of layered vocal dexterity, cherry picked cello introduction and those pianos deserves something special.

It's such a happy record.

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: 1.5/2

Themes and Delivery: 1.2/2

Production: 1.6/2

Enjoyability and Satisfaction: 1.5/2

Execution: 1.2/2

Total:

7.0 - Victory

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