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Album review of Fireboy DML’s – APOLLO –

This has become a regular part of Africa At Random where we do in-depth album or music project review of some selected artists and their album projects on the continent. And for this article, we will be delving into Fireboy‘s latest album titled Apollo – in fact, it would have been a travesty not to do a review of Fireboy’s work, considering how much of a talent he has proven himself to be since the release of his debut.

Fireboy’s debut album titled ‘Laughter, Tears and Goosebumps’ is a project that I am personally a fan of. I rate that body of work highly so much so that I believe that it can easily pass for an 8/10, as such this new one would have to do a lot to surmount how impressive his first project was.

Additionally, some people were of the view that Fireboy DML should have let his debut album settle with people and the market before making a second release, but it seems that the artist and his record label YBNL, led by Nigerian star rapper, Olamide Baddoo are not deterred by the high expectations – they seem to trust in their ability to pull off another great project to equal or even surpass the numbers made on the first album.

Now to the album review;

Track 1 – Champion

On this track, Fireboy goes on to give himself accolades and describes how much of a champion he is.

This was a befitting track to open the album, considering the impressive feat he achieved with his first album and the subsequent single releases. He features a relatively unknown rapper by the name of D Smoke on this one.

He starts the track by singing, “I be king, I’m the best my generation has ever seen. Like suddenly I be like NEPA bill…”

It is a sweet and motivational song at the same time; it has what seems like the backing vocals of a choir as well.

Track 2 – Spell

He features the veteran singer and former MoHitz act, Wande Coal on this one. This song is off the chain! Both artistes sing effortlessly with sweet melodies. This one is expected to be a hit single across the continent.

This song has a an old school Michael Jackson ‘Thriller’ feel to it, despite being clearly contemporary. This song is international, yet the two find a way to localize this piece.

Track 3 – ELI

Fireboy goes alone on this track (being he first track on the album where he doesn’t feature anyone). This track is already hit single, as he released this about a month prior to dropping the full album. It is an afropop sound that intertwined some traditional Chinese flute sounds.

He makes word play with the name or word ELI, asking the Biblical prophet Elijah to come save him from some “Delilah.”

He shows his pure vocals on this one – great track.

Track 4 -Tattoo

He released this song and visuals about two weeks before the album was launched and it has been raking great numbers, showing how good the song is.

It is a sensual love song on which Fireboy shows his prowess as an outstanding act. This song is one of the best works he’s ever done – and this means a lot considering that this YBNL artist has no bad songs.

 Track 5 – Favourite Song

Just like the title says, this could have easily been many people’s favourite song, save the fact that he has even better songs on this particular album and some on his previous album.; it however doesn’t take anything away from the song which is a classic.

Just like track 2 (spell), he brings his old school flair to bear here. This song goes on to affirm the fact that Fireboy has some old school music influence on his craft. This is a really well done piece where he fuses his native Yoruba language with English and sings on old American pop beats laced with African trumpets.

 Track 6 – New York City Girl

This is totally a love song for a girl who seems to have caught the musicians attention with her outstanding beauty features. On this track, he seems to be asking this “fine girl from New York” to give a last dance/kiss before she books her flight back to New York. He even asks her at a point to elope with him.

 Track 7 – Lifestyle

This is a groovy danceable one where he addresses certain pertinent issues. On this track, he talks about the actions of detractors who do not want to let him enjoy his laid back lifestyle.

He says he knows what his worth is and does not need to come on social media to prove any point. This seems to be in response to a number of people who say that he does not put himself out there enough. He decided to tell people to let him be because that is his person/lifestyle.

Track 8 – Airplane Mode

He decides to go into a form of therapy session on this one where he talks about the public pressure of being a celebrity. He says sometimes he just wants to give up on the life and just live a quiet life and not be bothered by the pressures of being in the spotlight.

He says that his talent comes naturally to him and as such cannot shelve it and therefore might just have to live with the stress of being a celebrity after all.

He adds even though he prefers to just make songs and not be bothered by demands of the celeb life, he would brace it and pray to God for help to navigate the terrain.

Track 9 – 24 (Interlude)

Even though this is supposed to be just an interlude track, it can actually be said to be a song because it is an awesome piece of work.

Fireboy flexes his vocal ability on this one. It is a slow sound with soothing beats and instrument play, but his vocals carry this and makes it a very good song on any given day, not just an interlude.

 Track 10 – Dreamer

Here he talks about unrequited love from someone he wanted to give his all to. This leads him to ask the question of he is only just a dreamer wishing to have something or someone that doesn’t want him back. This is a combination of great vocals and awesome production.

 Track 11 – Afar

This is a song largely sung in pidgin (adulterated English spoken in Anglophone West Africa) and interspersed with some real English.

This track follows a theme of people who are two-faced and asking them not to come close. The preference for such people is for them to “love him from afar.”

He features his boss Olamide on this one. Funny enough, Olamide sounds strange on this as he does pure English rap with some little pidgin, which is quite unlike his regular raps in Yoruba and Pidgin – the rap was so good.

Track 12 – Go Away

Fireboy here talks about his dislike for a feeling of having affection for a certain person who seems to be occupying his thoughts all the time.

He says that he does not like the feeling of being stuck in love with this person as he seems to ignore the other girls he has available. What makes it worse is that he isn’t sure if this person he is falling for feels the same way about him.

 Track 13 – Shade

This track for me is up there. It is arguably the best song on the album. It seems to be dedicated to certain lady by name Shade (Sade) who he likes. He talks about the fact that he does not want to lose the lady and no matter how she fights it, their relationship is something that he believes would surely happen.

Even though it is your regular love song, you can actually “boogey” to it as well.

Track 14 – Friday Feeling

It is coincidental that I am doing this review on a Friday lol, it is therefore apt that this track is effectively dissected.

This is a party song which actually talks about partying on a Friday in the spirit of TGIF.

On this track, Fireboy is asking someone to dance with him one more time and the need to seize the moment and have fun.

 Track 15 – God Only Knows

This appears to be a sad song where Fireboy says he is not sure if someone he used to know still remembers name and even remembers who he is. It is an enactment of a situation where a lover messes up and then has an epiphany much later, where they wonder what they could turn back the hand of time and done better so that their relations then turned out much better than it did.

 Track 16 – Sound

This is an embodiment of good music!

Here Fireboy sings in pidgin and English where he creates and ode to music. This carries so much “Africanness” (if there is a word like that) in it. It is both a feel good and reflective/meditative song at the same time.

Track 17 – Remember Me

This is the last song on the album.

It talks about the need to remember him when he is gone. It is a befitting song to end such a masterpiece of an album.

Here he talks about the need to remember him for his good deeds and accomplishments when the journey is over.

Fireboy seeks to admonish all to remember to do the best they can in time so people remember them for their works as life isn’t infinite.

 Conclusion

In conclusion, this album is not just good – it is a great album.

The Executive Producer of the album is Olamide Adedeji who also doubles as the A & R alongside Bolaji Kareem.

The producers for the songs are as follows;

Pheelz – Tracks 1, 2, 3, 5, 9, 10, 14, 15, 17

Type A – Tracks 4, 6, 8, 12, 13

iamBeatz – Tracks 7, 11

P.Priime – Track 15

Based on the individual scores of the tracks above, the overall rating for the album is 8.50/10 – that right there is a masterpiece.

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