I want to ask a question; Am i the only one who has been super excited since Adekunle Gold dropped his About 30 album on the 25th of May 2018? I suppose not! However I guess you probably would listen to the album like normal people do. I’m sorry I’m not the normal album listener – I literally prepare my body, mind and soul to receive albums (lol) so trust me when i say i was prepared to be blown away by Adekunle Gold.
It all started with the Album listening session – which I was really impressed with his publicity wit or should I say (the publicity know how of his team). They successfully carried fans along so seamlessly which just increased the anticipation for the album. It was simply superb. Adekunle Gold’s “About 30” listening session was the best I have seen on this side of town. Without wasting much of your internet time I’ll go straight to business.
So what’s the spectacular thing about this album people have been talking about? “What’s the big deal?” you’re probably thinking to yourself right now. Well, I joke not when I say that 50% of people talking about this album are simply following the trend, 35% are actually lay men and loyal fans who love good music, 13% characterize deep music listeners who do not just listen for fun but for the ecstasy and musical healing that comes with such content while 2% are the demigod analysts who listen objectively not just with their ears but with their soul. I fall into this category and I am not bragging here I’m pointing out simple fact (giving that cocky smile).
I have listened to About 30 over and over again and I must give it to not just Adekunle Gold but the entire production team. The album consists of various African sounds ranging from High life, afro beat, afro pop, afro soul and also combined with some contemporary and classical blends. It is also important to note that every instrumentation on the album has as much power as the lyrics embedded within so it’s safe to say that you can simply listen to the instrumentals and still have that “something deep is supposed to be said right here feeling“.
On this review, I wish to talk about my favorite 3 tracks on the About 30 album while not writing off the other tracks, these 3 tracks just found a soft way to my heart and my phone just has a way of reading my mind that it plays them in sequence.
- There is a God Ft. LCGC
- Back to Start
- Ire remix ft. Jacob Banks
There is a God Ft. LCGC – I will say this anywhere – Adekunle Gold is more gospel than most self-proclaimed gospel singers. I am being frank with my statement and please quote me if need be. “There is a God” featuring Lagos Community Gospel Choir did justice to the About 30 album. It is my favorite track not because I love Churchy songs but simply because it addresses the societal belief in luck than Grace. Most celebrities will never openly acknowledge the influence of God in their lives because they simply want to portray themselves as gods in their little spheres so you hear some call themselves self-made and sing about how they hustled their way to the top (Please I have no issue with this anyway). However, AG comes through with this music unashamed of proclaiming the Sovereignty of God who lives in the Heavens and also in him. He started this one singing about miracles that happen to people and he’s asking you; “Why u no kom believe sey God dey”?
The song arrangement made this song more beautiful. It’s so beautiful that the bridge feels too good to be a bridge (It felt like the hook) the hook however sounds too good to be replaced – I have been feeling this way since I started playing this album. What about the Orchestra feel at the end of the song? LCGC did their magic on this track and gave it that sort of ending that makes you just want to give a standing ovation.
Back to Start – First, if you did not understand the games AG spoke about on this track, I’m sorry you did not have a fun child hood. Your child hood was simply as dry as harmattan (Lol… I’m really sorry mehn… Like who did not play Police and Thief, Moni ni or Boju Boju or eat Baba Dudu?). This song easily caught my fancy because it reminded me of how care free I was of life back as a child growing up in Surulere, Lagos.
The instrumentation has a child hood playful feel coupled with the traditional instruments like the African gong, tambourine and local drums that filled the background music. The lyrical prowess of Adekunle Gold can also be felt on this track – How can a track be this playful and deep simultaneously? Truth be told, at some point in our life we need to be less serious and remember that there were days when we never cared about the troubles of this world, let’s go back to the start, the days when life was good.
Ire Remix ft Jacob Banks – I had several thoughts before including this track in my list but if we are sincere, we would acknowledge that Jacob Banks did justice to this remix. The track is not all that extraordinary, it however gave a different feel than the original. The original still has its place in my heart but this remix seemed to outweigh the original for me.
Jacob Banks popular for his strong and masculine vocals used his powerful vocals to perfectly blend with Adekunle Gold’s thinner vocals to give more spice to the ire rhythm we already got used to. The lyrical composition of Jacob Banks also helped in giving a better understanding to Ire from the vantage point of another singer. There isn’t so much distinct difference with the original ire besides the introduction of Jacob Banks to the remix and also some alterations in the back up and Adlibs. The instrumentation remains the same with the local drums, guitar and sekere being the dominant sounds on the track.
In Summary, About 30 is a huge chunk of Adekunle Gold’s life. Music is a beautiful thing and it gets more beautiful when we see artistes share life experiences through music.
If there’s one thing that is evident in the About 30 Album, it is the preservation of our traditional values and our culture through music. Adekunle Gold is simply a genius.
PS: Is it just me or did someone also notice Simi’s vocals scattered all over the album. Let me just keep quiet. Did you also hear Brymo’s “Mama” skit on the About 30 Album also? Real will always recognize real.
Other songs that captured my fancy include “Damn Delilah” which simply portrays betrayal by someone who was once close to you. Does this sound familiar? Can you relate to this? I also love the track – “Somebody” which portrays pure and undiluted love – everyone wants this type of love. My favorite line on this track says; “New things get old, they get old, no be every shine shine be gold”. There’s so much wisdom on “About 30” and if you are yet to cop this master piece, simply click link below to do so.
One thing is sure, Adekunle Gold succeeded in the rujvenation of a dying music genre – High life and has made it more appealing than it has ever been.
I really look forward to AG’s show in London (Like i’ll be there -_- well, if you get me a ticket i certainly would be) along side the 79th Element and i wish them a successful event on the 29th of this month.
Album Title: About 30
Genre: High Life
Artiste: Adekunle Gold
Album Rating: 3.95/5
My criteria for this album review includes: Lyricism, relativity, instrumentation and overall delivery.