It’s one of those albums that dropped like “boom”. Let’s say like Kamikaze. Eminem waking up one time and announcing on Twitter his album is ready.
Of course, Samini did carry out some form of publicity ahead of the d-day but 12 months, 6 months or 6 weeks to the launch and even listening session not many, except perhaps those who are close to the musician, had an idea that an album was in the offing.
I had actually heard him say a number of times “I am working”, never really giving too much away. Also, a lot of album releases in our part is often preceded by singles that are released months ahead and then you are told they are part of an album to be released. Save two songs which the composer rightfully tags as “bonus tracks” on the album cover, all the other songs are fresh, unheard of. It all adds up to 22 songs without a feature opportunity for any act in the space.
That unique voice many have grown used to, is heard screaming “yɛ yɛ ohh, yaga yohhh, yaaah“ and proceeds to ask the listener to guess who is back on the track, one cannot help but know there is something coming up that requires applause like he goes on to say.
Samini knows his place in the music space; he has been tagged as an old horse, riding on past glories aside from being incapable of gaining the top spot he held on to years back. He admits to some of these facts but states: “Rain goes away just to come another day.”
This is a defining moment in the song. Samini is different from his contemporaries whom he started with. Many have tried to return and have simply failed. He has been around he reminds all, he does go low sometimes but he belongs to the charts he argues and is ready to take it once again.
This line, therefore, is by no means just a drop in the ocean of lyrics but it drops at a time when he has just finished boasting about being a king and a warrior. And so in 1:15 mins, Samini tells you three things in the song titled “Untamed”
1. He is not done like they claim
2. This album will bring him up again
3. He has been through tough times and admits one needs to sweat to gain
Call it Philosophical but Samini is one confident dude, believing in his craft and ready to let you catch the vibe. I will score this track 7 out of 10.
And so he lifts the tempo in track 2 which is titled “ Reggae Nice”.
Samini sings about sweet music that plays and takes someone away. It reminds me of what Bob Marley wrote about music hitting you “one good thing about music when it hits you, you feel no pain.”
Music is indeed powerful, soothing and a great companion for many who are distressed. Samini in this song informs his listeners that he has a grasp of what music and his music for that matter, achieves hence the line “Jam and forget about your problems...” Samini certainly maintains the score of 7.
“Natty Dread” is minutes of Samini boasting about his ability to do a number of things, good sense of fashion, not missing targets and the obvious affection he enjoys from many women.
He continues in that line for “rainbow” and portrays himself this time around not as the guy who is in high demand but rather that lover ready to do so much for a wonderful lady he has fallen in love with. The singer at this stage is madly in love, willing to do so much for the lady but reiterates consistently that the girl loves him and goes on to demand the love of the girl.
A score of 8 is fair for ‘Rainbow’ and ‘Natty Dread’.
He abandons love and switches to the hard realities of life. Of course, love is often part of such realities and so certainly features in this story. Except one “Ba Yaa Getty” is the recipient of the affection not coming Samini but from his homie Kwesi who embezzles “dough” meant to build journeyman Samini a home.
The singer is now alone, wants to go to town but is left alone. Who to trust is certainly an important lesson the composer wants to put across.
A lot of the times those who let us down tend to even avoid us after disappointing us and proceed to act normal. Samini captures all that. This song is terribly perfect and earns a score of 9. Has a good message and is a great tune. “Obra” is my best pick on this 22 track masterpiece.
‘Worldwide’ takes us back to the theme of the introduction tune. Samini talks about the fact that he is a warrior who doesn’t accept defeat, being here to stay, he is still up on his two legs, ready to take Ghana music worldwide, being betrayed by his own kind who can’t even get to his level which you may well know by now; is high up. I will award this a 7 like the first track.
Rastafarians have interesting beliefs. Like say this whole buzz about Emperor Selassie being the Messiah. I haven’t heard Samini say he is one but in the “Naya Bingi” “Ethiopia” he sings of the land of Haile Selassie in a manner that leaves one no option but to conclude he may well believe in Tafari like other Rastas. He touches on the long-held belief that Africa is the home of man so adds
“Never let my memories fade” as he reminds Jah to keep him in check about his roots. He takes the spiritual recitation a notch higher
“Sing unto the Lord with thanksgiving..” he proceeds to praise and worship God and concludes “Selah” earning a score of 7.
After a trip to the metaphysical, Samini admits his human nature and how he faces off daily with various forces who have gathered for war. He needs divine intervention.
“Jah gives me everything straight Inna high grade”. “Survival” grabs 7.
Samini loves to boast like many acts. He continues to remind us once again he is the king with a regiment and the “Dada” for the girls.
“Ohene no niee, Africa raga hene no niee.”
He hits at his musical opponents again, reminding listeners they had pledged to harm his career but he is still making waves. Of course, each time he goes down this path one cannot help but say it is certainly a swipe at his musical nemesis Shatta Wale but Emmanuel Andrews Samini barks once more “I reign supreme”. ‘Raga Dada’ earns 7.
As you may well have noticed the trend by now, Samini returns to the theme of love once again in ‘Falling’. He sings about this lady he loves so much whom he wants to literally do a lot for.
It appears the lady is not entirely convinced Samini is the man so Samini now throws outlines to show how much sacrifice he intends to make for the lady, “I wanna make you my one and only. Oh girl I am falling slowly”
Good love song worth a score of 7 just like ‘Craving’ that comes right after that. The love Prof, as usual, is yearning for the love of another lady whom he doesn’t want to lose.
It doesn’t appear he has won her over entirely so he tries to convince her not to leave him at any point, “when you are not around is like life itself is not around. You stole my heart, one look at your face and you stole my heart. Completely ehhh, oh what a feeling. I need it.”
‘Old man’s radio’ which is the 12th track has quite a different theme. Samini preaches hard work, patience and living by grace. He chants, “life is hard you can’t make ends meet when you chilling in a sofa.”
He adds, “there will be no food for lazy man.”
Samini has a strong understanding of what hard work achieves. For a man who has spent decades being relevant despite efforts by many to declare his career a done deal, he knows what it takes to be at the top. A score of 8 cannot be dodged.
Samini in 12 tracks puts himself up as a King who cannot be overlooked, one who is here to stay despite admitting he can go below the radar sometimes but brags that his warrior nature emanates from this; the ability to come back like the rain. A man who loves to love, who is loved and who works to gain love by pledging to do all to win the love of a lady. Love and resilience can best capture all first 12 songs on the album.
To be continued ....
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