Album: Seyi or Shay
Artiste: Seyi Shay
Seyi Shay said that she took a risky turn by working with more unknown producers, for her debut album and in retrospect that was a good decision because the album, as a collective, is well produced.
It’s also evident that proper thought went into creating the album art because it aptly depicts the title, Seyi or Shay– a woman of 2 sides with varying personalities and those personalities come to the fore, on the album.
The album swings into play with the well worded, monologue type Intro (track 1) as Ms. Seyi reels off about who she is, what she is about, the pressure she feels which is as a result of her apparent influence and ends by admitting her imperfection, but hoping that people will be happy with her. Reggae and Rock mesh on The Mic (track 2) and is also a show of Seyi Shay’s vocal capabilities as she switches seamlessly between her normal range and falsetto. From the moment In Public (track 3) starts, the instrumentation hooks then sustains, as a way of preparation for the ballsy rap-like rendition from Seyi Shay which leads into Cynthia Morgan’s skillful fusion of dancehall and rap. It’s a bold song and an illustration of female empowerment.
Shay’s execution on the urban Mary (track4) which features Phyno bears a partial resemblance to Rihanna’s Bitch Better Have My Money and the insertion of certain lyrical nuances throughout the song deserve a creative kudos. The commendable streak continues with the well-structured Healer (track 6) which features Sound Sultan and promotes love, peace and unity- it’s another well written and well produced song that lends its influence from the Reggae genre.
Pop songs have a tendency to sound alike, especially in this part of the world but thankfully, Crazy (track 7), which features Wizkid doesn’t fall into the band-wagon. It’s a delightful song and has the power to work a room full of unbridled people into frenzy, should the speakers be turned up. The tempo slows down on No Vacancy (track 8), but the quality doesn’t with its nice melody. Seyi Shay taps her street persona on Pack and Go (track 9), which features Olamide and is just decent.
Patoranking carries out his reggae properly while ShayDee puts his awesome pipes to work and together, they help Seyi make Murda (track 10) the awesome collaboration that it is. If any of the songs were to be submitted for a Grammy nomination, it should be Higher (track 11) as it is easily, one of the best moments of the album- Seyi’s vocal take is slow paced, pregnant with intent and impressive as she is unafraid of exploiting the different ranges her vocal chords can allow.
Everlasting Love (track 12) starts off somewhat unambitious but picks up soon enough to become an entertaining pop song- the short rap stint towards the end is unexpected but a welcome twist. Killing Me Softly (track 13) could’ve as well had only Seyi Shay as Timaya’s verses lack, thus a forgettable song. Church (track 14) is borderline ordinary until BOJ brings some respite. Loud (track 15), which features Femi Kuti, was Seyi’s favourite song to record on the album- it starts with a Saxophone offering from Mr. Kuti followed by few seconds of an amazing vocal take as she sings; “Oluwa lo seyi o” before she switches to her street/rugged persona. Those few seconds, on this Afrobeat tinged record happens to be another high point on the album.
Tina (track 16), which features D’banj and Love Wan Tin Tin (track 17) are generic and uninteresting- they take off at some points but only for short periods.
Jangilova (track 18) is thoroughly cultural from the appropriately crafted lead in instrumentation to the lyrics and the general bearing of the song, making for an ethnic listen. This leads in to the final track of the album, the remix of Right Now (track 19) as assisted by Banky W’s rap and Iyanya’s modulation- an already good song made even better by 2 properly done features.
There’s a narrative, nowadays, that too many songs on an album could be a turn-off for the music buying audience and frankly, Seyi or Shay could have done without 4 songs after track 12 but 4 inconsistent songs out of 19 is barely enough to render Ms. Seyi’s debut, an average effort.
It’s generally a really good debut.
Written by Ade Tayo