Artiste: Korede Bello
Album Title: Belloved
Producers: Don Jazzy, Cobhams, Altims & Baby Fresh
Date of Release: March 13, 2017.
Label: Mavin Records
OVERALL REVIEW: An above average Album, presenting a versatile Korede. The album explored diverse genres from Afropop to R&B to Reggae-Dancehall and Highlife. Overall album message touched on romantic love, love for one another, thank you tunes to fans, supporters and God. A laidback, feel-good album suitable for a long, chilled evening ride while doubling as a party starter.
See full review below:
Track 1: Korede [3 Star]
A mellow tempo, reggae-dancehall type track, delivered in Nigerian Pidgin English, garnished with Yoruba. Korede sang in his usual synthetically engineered voice, thanking and praying for his fans and supporters. This being the core message of the intro track made sense but the entire outcome of the track was rather poor, the beat, the vibe, the feel was underwhelming for an ice breaker of the long wait for his debut album. Choosing this as an intro track, might have just been a bad idea as it misrepresents the overall quality of the album.
Though the track had dancehall undertones, this may not be a club favourite, this in addition to the fact that the message reflects less of a club banging theme. Not a bad track in terms of delivery and production but it had no wow factor, therefore our generous three star rating.
Track 2: Oh Baybe (Hermosa) [4 Star]
Following the new school, laidback Islandish-Afropop trend that the likes of Wizkid have been exploring lately, Korode on the track served an interesting twist to the trend. Singing to a girl he loves, Korode sliced in some Patwa, some French and some Spanish while throwing in popular local Nigerian slangs and expressions in the song. The beat had evident Caribbean Afro-Rhumba inspirations making the song a complete dancehall recipe. With extra lead guitar, background Spanish guitar and Trumpets spicing up, the track stayed vibrant and rich from start to finish. With a big thumps up to the producer (BabyFresh) and two trumps to Korede on the Vocals, we gift this one a four star rating!
Track 3: Repete [4 Star]
Celebrating his Yoruba heritage in sound and language, Korede sang on the track asking the girl of his dream to give him some love. A chilled and completely laidback song, definitely a track you can have slow drive around town to, drink to, or put on repeat when you are not in the mood for loud, upbeat tracks. With gentle, yet banging African talking drums and solemn harmonious hums lacing the instrumental, He attacked the song with soothing, smooth vocals, pushing it up into a four star rating.
Track 4: Butterfly [3 Star]
On this track, Korede explored the typical Nigerian Highlife sound and he delivered it excellently both in Language and in style. With exciting bass guitar, lead guitar and vocal backups the song switched from mid-tempo to high-tempo making it an easy dance material. The lyrics was weak, though full of catchy chants therefore giving the song a neither hot nor cold rating. It’s a three star rating from us all.
Track 5: Let Him Go [3.5 Star]
While delivering a rather interesting and timely message of moving on from toxic relationships, Korede stayed playful in language on the track. With an instrumental blend of Jamaican Dancehall and Naija Afropop, he sang his way out three star into a three star and half rating.
Track 6: My People [3.5 Star]
Packed with banging drumrolls and generously garnished with talking drum and lead guitar backups, this track was created for the typical Nigerian groove. Every popular Nigerian dance step would glide effortlessly over this tune. Korede decided to get in touch with the street in this street hop track. The message of the song projected him as a celebrated entertainer. Basking in ambience of this message, he married some powerful vocal delivery to the banging beat and birthed a delicious Naija Afropop-Highlife mix. For “My people”, we the people say three and a half star.
Track 7: If you Smile [4 Stars]
We predict this to be the next wedding anthem around town and we will tell you why. When local Nigerian instruments meet laidback instrumentals and excellent vocal performance marries relatable love message you most likely will get a wedding anthem. Korede perhaps knew this recipe and gave it a great shot. This mid tempo highlife tune will have you thinking of Wedding Jollof Rice and Cold palm wine evenings. It’s a four star from us.
Track 8: Young Presido [3 Star]
In this unusual, untypical Rhumba-funk mix, Korode explored the upbeat part of life. The song celebrated him as a Young Presido while he focused on dancing and rocking his way through the night. Though the song sounded like a leftover D’banj track, we were entertained regardless. For this upbeat, energetic dance track accept our three star rating. Thank you.
Track 9: Favourite Song [4 Star]
And that’s how Korede went International on us. His versatility in this album came out strong on this track. This rather unexpected swift ballad showed a side of his vocal prowess we never knew existed. Laced in a powerful love message, the lyrics of the song showed conscious effort and it output came out great. We love everything on this track, the flowing piano keys, the lyrics, Korede’s vocal performance and the fact that it was rather far from his usual style. We rate this a four star, a favourite indeed. Shout out to Cohbams on this one.
Track 10: Good Time [4 Star]
Korede gave feel-good music a makeover on this one. With a 90s/00s party theme on the instrumental the track poses as one of those happy sing-along, group dance-along songs that you listen to at reunions and birthday parties. We love the feel, the message, the extravagant background base guitar delivery. Bet you knew it was a four star, well yes, four star on this one.
Track 11: Ese Baba [4 Star]
Afropop went spiritual on this track. We were taken to church and we had our hands in the air all through. This exciting praise banger though not upbeat will have churches turning in praise. Being the last song on the album, Korede sent out a heartfelt praise to God while quoting lines from Paul Play’s popular church song “Adupe”. On this Sunday morning anthem, we say four star.
Written by: Makuochi Okafor