Wizkid Made In Lagos Album Review
Nigerian singer/songwriter, Wizkid has released his widely anticipated project Made In Lagos, via Starboy/Sony Music International/RCA Records. This is his fourth studio album and it comes 3 years after his last album, Sounds From The Other Side.
The 14-track project includes features from an incredible group of chart-topping artists – Burna Boy, Skepta, Damian Marley, Tems, H.E.R. Ella Mai, and emerging artists such as Terri, Tay Iwar, and Projexx.
The album opens with ‘Reckless’, an amazing starter to the 14-course meal (tracks) that’s on the menu. Backed by a simple yet heavy bassline and a commanding saxophonist, Wizkid serenades the ladies, takes aim at people who assumed he had fallen off, and sets the tone for the rest of the album. This song welcomes you to the festival that is Made In Lagos. Interestingly, the sentiments on this opener are reechoed on ‘Grace’, the closing track of the album.
The only difference is that he also expresses gratitude on the latter. Wizkid’s trademark vibe sound is prevalent in songs like ‘Mighty Wine’ and ‘No Stress’. The former is livelier and catchy than the latter. ‘Omoge make a dance’ is a line for the dancefloor and an Instagram caption for those drunk nights.
Mighty Wine is a party starter and Wizkid is on cruise control here, it seems almost effortless but it’s not. Wiz has figured out to create these vibe songs in a way that no one else can and his secret formula works for him.
‘Sweet One’ is a solid album cut and a great Afro R&B record. ‘Gyrate‘ is another “vibe” song that starts off promising holds on to that sense of being a great song till the very end and then you’re left conflicted about it when the song ends. So what do you do? You play it again just to be sure and you do so, till you eventually end up loving the song. The London produced-track has some incredible production and the saxophone bits make it more.
There’s a bounce to it. A catchy one for that matter. Burna Boy and Wizkid go forth back and forth on the hook and it’s brilliant. Might be easily mistaken as a song about having a good time but it’s actually a song that focuses on sex with friendly banter. The bounce on this song is incredible and well-measured. Burna’s outro where he goes a pitch higher is a “show-off” moment and we are grateful for it. It will most likely be the next single from the album. Word on the street is that the video for this song is on standby.
Since ‘Bad Energy’ dropped, folks have waited for Wiz and Skepta to reunite on a track and it finally happened. Skepta lays the foundation with a smooth verse at the beginning. Bars like “Everyting mad when I pull up with the goons / Ciroc boys with ain’t fuckin’ with the Goose /
You see thе source, big swag, bankuli” will be screamed by fans when this song gets treated to a live audience. Wizkid brings that Afro-Caribbean vibe into the song and it’s a sweet blend. For your own sake, don’t compare this song to ‘Bad Energy’. Just enjoy it as it is.
The only problem with this song is that Damian Marley didn’t do his trademark “now greetings to the world” intro. Other than that, we are treated to an incredible piece of art from two music veterans who are regarded as cultural icons in their various continents. The song is a celebration of life and the blessings we often take for granted. Damian puts things in perspective as he raps “To see a sun set or see a sun rise / And see my son born with the same eyes / To see my son smile, brighten every grey sky / He’s growing so fast, that’s why everyday / I give it 100, nuh stop at 90”. Favourite line from Wizkid on this is “Pray for the friends I lost / I pray you never see no loss”
As a single, it was well appreciated. Hearing it as a part of this project, makes you appreciate it more. The sonic euphoria it gives is unmatched and it’s a testament to Wizkid’s effort to achieve cohesion on this album.
A sex anthem. That’s what this is. The easy guitar lines and the well-measured drums mixed with Ella Mai’s hook puts you in a mood for long satisfying exquisite sexual activity. R&B Wizkid is underrated and we need more of it. It’s a solid album cut and it’s the kind of song that could do well in foreign markets.
And we’re back on that Afro-Caribbean bounce. This is a great record. Great. No exaggeration. Tay Iwar is a gem and deserves props for this incredible hook. Jamaican artist Projexx gets put on by Wizkid and he delivers a sweet and smooth explicit verse that’s on-brand with Jamaican artists. At the end of this day, this is a great love anthem.
The collaboration tracks keep getting better. Tems is a national treasure. Her voice gently commands your ears and senses to her. There is something sensual about her voice and how she delivers her vocals. Wizkid probably has thousands of songs that sound like this and yet, with each new love song he releases, the listener is enthralled by his charm and approach to depicting love in his art. Essence is a solid Afro R&B record that will age like fine wine.
The Afrobeats bounce is back and it’s glorious. The guitar riff on this is ridiculous. The most impressive thing about this song is Terri’s confidence. The way he delivers his parts on this song shows growth and it’s amazing to hear. Terri is beginning to sound like a proper artist and not a version of Wizkid. His delivery on the second verse is where the real magic is.
Conclusion: With this album, Wizkid encapsulates his decade long-run as the king of Afrobeats. While it appears as a love album, Wizkid also touches on his struggles, his attempts at reconciling with those who are at odds with him, and his legacy as Africa’s poster boy for Afrobeats. The album’s strength lies in the sonic cohesion that it has. It’s a well-executed and balanced project that shows #Wizkid as someone who is intentional about his art and not just vibing.
Rating – 9/10 #MadeInLagos