This is the first time I have written the body of the blog post before going back to search my brain vigorously for a title.
My issue with reviewing new unknown artistes is that you try not to break their spirits by being too blunt while also trying not to lose the credibility your readers have in you to tell them if the album is a waste of data. So now I have to find a nice way to tell you that this boy band is unable to shake off it’s “back up singers” vibe. If you’ve heard Ric Hassani before then you’ve already heard these songs before. Heavy on the graphic lyrics and Africaness to the point where it overshadows the forced syrupy vocals.
I’m sure you’re thinking “but that’s exactly Ric’s niche so what’s my issue with it?”. It lacks the punch that one would expect from artistes trying to secure their space in a crowded industry. I expect each of them to be fighting hard to distinguish their voice and style through powerful distinct vocals (they really tried to do this on the ‘Ajoke’ track) but maybe it’s too early in the day and I need to cut them some slack.
With 4 tracks on this EP, the boys shine brightest on the track “On Code” and it seems they were not trying to impress so it came off natural and the vibe was on point. There’s clearly potential there but they need to be given freedom outside of Ric’s style and shadow to really punch at the weight category they seem capable of. Enough with the sorrowful whiny Loverboy thing, it’s been flogged to death by everyone from Plantashun Boys to every boy band ever. This was a failed attempt of breaking with the boy band stereotype, if that was the intention.
For a first album where our expectations were zero, it was not nearly a shabby effort and secondary school girls with no relationship experience will literally fall and faint. Everyone else will skip the tracks and keep “On Code” on repeat. It’s a 3 out of 5 stars for me. ⭐⭐⭐ As always listen to their EP and let me know what you think. The most interesting perspective (comment on the album) will get 5K from me.