A lot has changed since Burna Boy last dropped an album in August of 2020.
The 2020 release of “Twice As Tall”Saw Burna Boy rise up the ranks to take the top spot in the Nigerian music scene. The album, which later won a Grammy, was an apt depiction of how African music can accommodate the listeners at home and overseas too. It was a new day for Afrobeats!
Since then, we’ve had Grammys, had four artists on the Billboard Hot 100, seen artists shut down the O2 (Wiz did it three times in one week), and watched as the whole world sang along to “Essence”Last summer. A lot of things have happened. Exciting things.
But after the Grammy, not many of those things happened to Burna Boy. He pandered around in search of a hit song for a while but didn’t quite get it until two months ago when “Last Last”Came. The song, which would become the second single from his album, quickly became an anthem.
Once again, Burna Boy was a topic. The music is selling, the people are listening, the iron is hot, and the time is now for the Giant to strike! The Heavens probably wouldn’t give him another chance if he fucks this one up. But one thing is for sure: he has a chance to be on top again, and he’s gonna take it.
It’s in that spirit that I embark on the 1-Listen review for Burna Boy’s much anticipated sixth solo effort, “Love, Damini. ”
I’m about to press play and give you my gut reactions in real-time; no stopping, no pausing, no reflecting, just the pure truth of how the album hits me on my first listen. And then after a while, we’ll go back and review it again with some distance and perspective.
Glory ft. Ladysmith Black Mambazo
Burna Boy starts the album with, “Glory, ”A spiritual record with an instrumental hip-hop that has gospel music-influence piano chords and funk drums. He’s telling stories, and the chorus is lit. Odogwu forget, you bad!
After that slow gospel piano music, this is exactly the time I expect to hear next. Heavy drums and bass guitar. There’s horns, strings, and bass. This is afrobeat, yes.
“Science”Is a party jam that sounds like something that’d fit on the 2015 album,“On a Spaceship. ” This should be his next single. There’s no reason Olamide wouldn’t kill this track. “You’re playing Russian roulette with loaded revolver”
Cloak & Dagger
One hell of an intro to an afro track. The kicks are on point, and still very heavy bass. Then there’s Burna Boy’s baritone slicing through the instrumental on the hook, begging for a 16-bar smoke-filled rap verse.
No worries, there. J Hus came with the fire. He came to a fist fight with a dagger, and I don’t suppose after today anyone would wonder why they call J Hus “baba.
Here’s a jam I know AZ, but it’s sounding fresh on here. As the fourth track on an album like this, it sounds like the perfect gritty bop before Burna Boy starts moving towards an introspective place.
The instrumental is doing the heavy lifting on this one, not gonna lie. Sounds like a low-budget “Good. ”
Not a personal favorite for me, but I bet there are people who dig this one. There’s a saxophone on the other side of the song sounding like something I’ve heard on a Wizkid track. This is a 6/10 song at best.
There’s a voice of a woman talking — more like complaining — about the pollution in the Southside that’s killing the people. Burna’s coming in now. A mellow chorus. I can’t say I get the reference.
Okay, on the verses, he’s beginning to dig into the issues. It’s a good one.
In comes the rave of the moment, “Last Last”And I must say, this is the first time I’m noticing the Toni Braxton sample that’s making Burna give 60% of his royalties to the American singer.
“Last Last”Is such a good song. It’s a song that has a sad theme but is sonically cheerful.
Different Size ft. Victony
Victony and bum bum are inseparable at this time. He takes the shine on this one as the two men surrender themselves to the backside. Not much to say about this. A casual bop.
I think I understand what he’s trying to do here. He’s trying to connect with the streets. A lot of slang here and there, and the chorus is a crowd-sung hook with a street leaning. It sounds effortless, though. Another casual bop. Album would be fine without this.
About time we started getting some songs for the ladies! “Dirty Secrets”Is Burna Boy’s Yoruba demon moment.
It’s a sexy record for a beautiful love interest Burna doesn’t mind making sacrifices to get. That’s interesting.
If it was up to Burna Boy, the song would be called Agbani Darego. But he featured Popcaan on this one and it’s kinda like an ode to the Miss World 2019 who’s from Jamaica.
Yes, Popcaan is a Jamaican, and he takes the chorus, so “Toni-Ann Singh. ” The album could probably do without this one too.
Solid ft. Blxst, Kehlani
Afro-R&B here and this one could easily become an international hit. Not just because it features the rave of the moment, Blxst and Kehlani. But because it’s got the kind of laid-back style that’s making all the waves these days.
Blxst and Kehlani carried this one, if we’re being honest. That’s not to say Burna Boy isn’t solid on this one; he is.
For My Hand ft. Ed Sheeran
I love the duet at the beginning of this song. Same Afro / R & B vibes and Burna Boy’s in love, and he wants to be with the girl forever. It’s a beautiful record.
Ed Sheeran is simply stunning on this one. “For My Hand”Deserves a standing ovation.
Rollercoaster ft. J Balvin
A very vocal performance from Burna Boy, he’s pitching, doing chants, and dropping wisdom. I have no idea what J Balvin is saying and the melody is basic, so nothing for me on that front. Okay, J Balvin is singing too much than I can take. I don’t think I like this track.
A brilliant show of instrumentation from the beginning, then Burna comes in and is singing about his sex appeal. Actually, I think he’s singing about the lady’s sex appeal. And her friend’s sex appeal, too. Okay, yeah, this is a sexual one with a lot of saxophones and Burna is a bad boy.
A Telz-produced song here, I see. Good instruments, once again. Burna Boy is singing from the perspective of a happy common person who has all the optimism in the world. Damn.
This is a good song all right. A beautiful well-deserved interlude, I hear. Then, the thoughtful chorus. Another interlude. That was the other. Beautiful, beautiful song!
Wild Dreams ft. Khalid
Khalid‘s voice is divine. But that’s no news. Burna Boy does a verse and Khalid takes the hook. I like how he’s letting Khalid do his thing here. It’s your song, no need to dey drag. What a performance.
How Bad Could It Be
Jorja Smith’s sweet voice on the intro. Nigerian nightmare, Kamaru Usman’s voice here. They’re saying what they do when they’re in a bad mood.
An inspirational one coming, I can feel it. “When you feel like you’re lonely, say how bad could it be?”He sings on the chorus. Well, that’s some philosophy. This song sure could have been worse.
Finally the last song on the album, and it’s the title track. That’s a pattern. He ended Outside with a song called “Outside”And started his last two albums (“African Giant”And“Twice As Tall”) Started with title tracks and now this album is ending with one.
This is a very good vocal performance from Burna Boy. He starts with an echoing acapella and he’s going on for one minute. There’s not going to be much drums on this one, I see. I don’t know what this band is singing but it sure sounds deep. He closes with his signature, “Love, Damini. ”
Well, I feel like this is one hell of a good album and I like most of the tracks. Maybe I’ll remove two or three but it’s okay overall. It doesn’t even feel too long.
“Love, Damini”Is really something and I don’t want to make any hasty comment but I think this will grow on most people. A few hits, probably. It’s nice to see Damini hasn’t lost his touch.
Okay, that’s it. Now tell me what you think about the album. I’ll be reading all your comments. Let’s go!
What Are Your Thoughts About Burna Boy’s Latest, “Love, Damini”?
I’d like to hear from you all.
Drop a comment below. 👇🏼
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