Sound Sultan remains both innovative and vital. Nobody in the music industry deserves more plaudits than he does.
Album: Out Of The Box
Artiste: Sound Sultan
Guests: Phyno, Flavour, Ceezza Milli, Dre Beats, Ada, Harrysong, Tee-Y Mix, Patoranking, Olamide, YG, DaKarizma, Sarkodie, Blackam, Timaya, 2face
Producers: WizzyPro, Tee-Y Mix, IXE, Kelikume, Da Beat Prince, J Sleek, Cobhams, DelB, Da Piano, Doc Dee, Lil Prince Amin, Jiggy Jegg, T Mode
Duration: 86 Minutes
Record Label: Naija Ninjas (2016)
Seven albums is a lot. During the space used to record all of these albums, many artistes would fret about their relevance and worry about the dynamic musical landscape. But Sound Sultan does not care. His name is already written in gold, in the history of Nigerian music.
There are several indicators of this on the album. Firstly, he has dropped 5 singles – which are some of the best songs on the album – over the past few months, with crisp videos to match. Next, this record, his 7, has a duration that spans all of 86 minutes.
Finally, there’s a reworked reggae version of his classic song ‘Motherland’, only this time with the famous Ada thrown in to add her perspective of the story. The track is both a throwback and a wonder, inspiring nostalgia, while providing you with new danceable material. Sound Sultan makes his rules, and lives by his own playbook.
The rest of the tracks are thrown across different genre. Most recent single ‘Monsura’ is more formulaic, pandering to the pop sounds that we have, while another single ‘African Baby’ which begins the album feels like a live production, with the strings soaring high above all the performers of the song which include Eastern flagbearers Phyno and Flavour.
After that, it’s a concoction of expression. ‘Ayo Odenu’ is conscious Prometheus, hitting your soul as it unravels into various things. Then ‘Nu Wave’, a more Caribbean affair which descends into wild energy, and horns, which makes you wonder what the secret of Sound Sultan’s enduring legacy is, and how much he has to be studied by new acts who intend to stay in this for the long haul.
Ending on ‘One’, with an emotional closing which features his peer and close confidant, 2face Idibia makes everything bow out with a solemn and uplifting feeling. This has been the two definers of an era where the music as we have it today was birthed and took shape. In many ways, they have been custodians of our melodic culture, and a collaboration on this album certifies that.
In the decades since his entrance to music, Sound Sultan has managed to go through time, keep fans engaged and wanting for more. And while “Out of The Box” isn’t too different from his deliveries on previous projects, Sound Sultan remains both innovative and vital. Nobody in the music industry deserves more plaudits than he does.
Rating – 3.5
3-Worth Checking Out