Album – Gold
Artiste – Adekunle Gold
Producers – Seyikeyz, Oscar, Pheelz, B Banks, Sleekamo, Masterkraft
Record Label – YBNL (2016)
Duration: 55 Minutes
When the year rounds off in style, and the best albums for 2016 are collated and celebrated, Adekunle Gold’s “Gold” album has to be a part of the party, that’s if it doesn’t lead the credits.
Coming from a humble stead, recognition has been both organic and viral for the YBNL lover boy, who is fast shedding that to become a ‘good’ and relatable’ guy who speaks for more than just his heart, but for the heart of every man with a dream, hope and a prayer.
‘Sade’ was the pivotal and most important origin for what we now hold in our hands. Other singles ‘Orente’, ‘Pickup’ and ‘Ready’, were amplifiers of what is an amazing talent, and today, the confidence derived from the success of the singles has brought artful branding and marketing which has synced with the music to create the “Gold” album.
Adekunle Gold created and owned his path in mainstream music; One of local highlife and purist melodies coming together, and served in this age, with the right messages and lyrical delivery to match. Such a creation is unheard of in the increasingly mono-sonic commercial Nigerian music scene and for Adekunle Gold to properly create that path, he leads the line to success.
“Gold” album is crafted for the mildly ambitious man, with relatable stories that speak to everyone with dreams. From the personalized ‘Gold’ opener and the advisory ‘My life’ which sums up his come-up. There’s artful juju music, complete with bata drumming, accompanying horns. This is one for the local parties.
Love comes in many forms, as Adekunle shows off his mundane romantic expressions on ‘Beautiful night’ and the faithfulness of ‘Orente’. But that positivity is tempered by sadness as his heart is broken, and a despondent calming ‘Nurse Alabere’ captures that forlorn feeling of losing your heart. He picks himself up, and goes after a girl who has put him in the ‘Friend zone’, and by doing that, connects with just about every man on the planet. ‘Paradise’ goes in hard, with drums and melodramatic passions of warmth and security that only an undying and overwhelming love can offer. There’s a backup contingent that amplifies the chorus, conjuring the specter of an ethereal choir.
As standout recordings go, the poignant ‘No forget’ duet with Simi (whose engineering skills are all over the album), comes very close. The duo dovetail to paint a picture of young, hopeful and ambitious lovers who dream for more than just promises and commitments. They want an eternity together. It is that dream that comes to fruition on ‘Ready’. ‘Ariwo ko’ also pushes the borders, with traditional Indian sounds incorporated with Highlife and a female backup.
The jewel of the work is ‘Temptation’, a fine story about the test of true friendship. Adekunle is caught in a conundrum as his soldier friend’s hot wife invites him to taste of her goodies. But he is strong in the face of betrayal, showing an exemplary discipline that we can all connect and aspire to.
A fantastic album, Adekunle Gold’s debut work ticks a lot of boxes, and sets a conceptual standard that should be the norm, but sadly, is an exception. There’s also a distinct lack of a power recording that would define the EP, and stand out not as a commercial endeavor, but a true representation of the singer’s ability to create a classic. Also, the project slightly slips into a monotony of sound. But the general consistency in delivery and the novelty of having a project of such quality papers over this crack, and presents what is a solid LP.
3-Worth Checking Out