Yemi Alade: ‘EMPRESS’ album review
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Yemi Alade: ‘EMPRESS’ album review

YEMI ALADE: EMPRESS ALBUM REVIEW

‘Empress’ is Yemi Alade’s best album yet. It is thorough. With “Empress”, Alade incorporates afrobeat into all parts of the world while featuring timeless music emedded wih creative sounds. It shows that Alade has evolved as an artist. She might also be going for a Grammy with this album.

On November 20, 2020, Nigerian Afropop singer- Yemi Alade released her fifth studio album titled ‘Empress’. If you have noticed, her album title is always synonymous with royalty; the royalty she expresses. Her debut studio album was ‘King of Queens’, followed by ‘Mama Africa’, then the third one focused on her music magic and the magic of the African continent, so she titled it ‘Black magic’. Her fourth studio album released in September 2019 was titled ‘Woman of steel’ and it made quite a mark for her.

But with ‘Empress’. It is different. let us get into the track by track review and tell you why it is.

1 True love

‘True love’ sets the mood for what to expect from ‘Empress’. The South-African influenced track is embedded with such lyrics that makes it impossible not to fall in love with the song. The only flaw with this song is that the chorus makes it long. Alade establishes how ‘True love’ cannot be found in romance alone, and I think this is what makes the song special. I remember going to the mall one day and the song was being played for little kids in an amusement park as they rode different toy vehicles. It is a song for everyone. She says, ‘True love get vibe, it doesn’t need a dime ooo’. She then goes on to say; ‘I can feel it in my baseline…’ The lyrical expressions grace imageries that makes the song go beyond audio. Kudos to Alade on the songwriting.

2. ‘Yoyoyo’

“Yoyoyo” descends into the story of how guys swindle ladies easily and get away with it. The song is reminiscent of Yemi’s inclination to have a story song in each of her album. In King of Queens, it was ‘Johnny’, and on ‘Woman of Steel’, it was ‘Yeba’. The flaw with this song is that it doesn’t really resonate with the new standard of the Nigerian music industry, but still, it is enjoyable.

3. ‘Mami water’

“Mami Water” shouldn’t have come as track number three, but still, it is a very good song that explores how men are easily swayed by women’s physical characteristics and fail to see whatever trap they might be leading them to. ‘Mami water’ herself is a reference to a beautiful water goddess that makes men’s jaws drop by her beauty. Alade sings; ‘Make you dey ready to waka, if she carry you enter water, oh you no go come back again’

4 ‘Lose my mind’

By the time this song rolls in, we are already in sync with the dancehall influence on this album. I think it is impossible to listen to any of the songs and not be tempted to dance. ‘Lose my mind’ is a beautiful song and the resonance between Alade and French singer- Vegedream, is a beauty. It is also incredible how the song has almost no flaws.

5. ‘Dancina’

It shouldn’t have come as track number 5, considering that ‘True Love’ and ‘Lose my mind’ have been the strongest tracks so far. Still, the Ghanaian influenced track exemplifies how Alade will never betray her fans who have come to adore her for a dance queen she is. ‘Dancina’ is an addictive dance song and think this covers whatever flaw it might have.

6 ‘Boyz’

“Boyz” sets a different tone from the rest of the tracks. Yemi explains the kind of men she desires. In fact, Boyz is not a bad song at all. No wonder it was a lead single. She says, ‘We only roll with the finest’. The song is actually lyric embedded if you listen to it well and it has a beautiful dance tempo to it too.

7. ‘I choose you’

It is a powerful collaboration with popular French singer/songwriter Dadju. Even though it contains common lyrics and love themes, it does this by setting the listeners in a dance mood more than a romance mood. The song is a vibe, as Dadju supplies sizzling French lyrics to it. If Alade had sang some parts in French rather than English alone, the sync would have been too beautiful.

8 ‘Control’

“Control” shows how different Alade is from a lot of Nigerian artists. The singer loves to experiment, and the way she does it on her songs simply makes her one of the best. She assertively declares how she controls her life, her environment and her kingdom. She adds strong French lyrics that makes the song versatile, whilst supporting it with Igbo and English. ‘Control’ is a good song. If the music video for this song is released, it should properly encapsulate Alade’s mood while recording the song. I think by now, she ought to notice that she should try to put something that best depicts royalty in her albums. One would have hoped that there would be a song titled ‘Woman of steel’ or ‘steel’ in her lyrics in the erstwhile album.

9 ‘Temptation’

It is perhaps, one of the best songs on this album. It should have been a single and it shows that Alade does better in collaboration with other artists on her song. Her flow with Patoranking is crazy, considering that Patoranking himself is the king of dancehall music. Temptation is a perfect song and it should have come earlier on the album.

10. ‘Ice’

“Ice” follows immediately and to be honest, it is a very good song. Although, it will most likely be ignored on the album and probably not have a music video.

Read also: Omah Lay: ‘What have we done’ EP review

11. ‘Deceive’

It came just too late on the album. It should have been a single too. Her synergy with Rudeboy is electric. Kudos to both of them on perfect delivery.

Computing Category

12 ‘Turn up’

It is not our favorite song on the album, but it is not a bad song. It would have been better if it wasn’t about Yemi’s attractiveness to a man, but how she ‘turns up’ with her friends to celebrate. Hopefully, the music video would do well to emphasize the song.

13. ‘Rain’

“Rain” is our favorite track on the album. It is just too beautiful. It is inspirational and healing. The gospel influence on it is also accentuated by her collaboration with the Mzansi South-Africa choir. It shows Alade’s inclination to add a Pan-African song in each of her albums. In ‘Mama Africa’, it was ‘Africa’. In ‘Woman of Steel’, it was ‘Shekere’. ‘Rain’ is heartwarming and really pushes us to pray for Africa. We can’t wait to see the music video.

14. ‘Weekend’

“Weekend” is a whole mood! It shows how malleable Alade has become. The song is a perfect R and B and perhaps the most perfect song on this album. Grammy award winning British singer – Estelle, delivers her verse properly while singing some Yoruba! It also shows how wrong people have been about Yemi Alade. A lot of people come for her because they claim her lyrics are sub-standard.

If you listened to this song, and in fact, a lot of songs on Empress Album, you would realize that this is so not true. In fact, she has stepped up her songwriting skill 100%.

15. ‘Double double’
Using electronic music, It sums up the album with Alade thanking God for everything she has accomplished so far.

Conclusion

‘Empress’ is Yemi Alade’s best album yet. ‘Woman of steel’ was good, but ‘Empress’ is better. It has more replay value than ‘Woman of steel’ and it is more addictive in comparison. It also shows that Alade has evolved as an artist. She might also be going for a Grammy with this album. It is just too thorough and the positive reviews she has had on this album is like no other.

Another wonderful thing about this album is the collaboration on it, and that explains again how unique Alade is. She doesn’t choose collaborations based on how popular they are with people. She chooses collaborations based on how they would better her songs. A lot of Nigerians might not have known Dadju, Vegedream or even Estelle before. But now, seeing how brilliant they have done on her song, we would watch out for them and even listen to some of their songs. She is incorporating Afrobeats into all parts of the world, and we love that!

Rating {10; 2 points each}
Track listing: 1
Songwriting: 2
Mixing/producing: 2
Replay value: 2
Structure/rhythm: 1
Total: 8 out of 10

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