Artiste: Yemi Alade
Album: Mama Africa
At the start of 2015, Yemi Alade took on the reins of the year and rode to a triumphant end where the title of most successful African female artiste for the period, awaited her. And despite her success, she didn’t just waltz into 2016- she started the year with just as much gusto, even releasing her sophomore album, Mama Africa, in March.
To be familiar with Yemi Alade’s sound and dominant genre of music is to already know the characterizing sound of this album. But, notwithstanding, it’s an album that thoroughly entertains. It’s not a socially conscious body of work and neither is the song-writing, ambitious. It’s simply different variations of Afro pop that’s sure to get the party started or keep a drive, in horrendous traffic, bearable. It’s pop with strong ethnic leanings.
It’s not an album that would leave a major impression but for the duration of the listen, it is very enjoyable.
Marry Me (track 6) is a song that’s perfect for a round of salsa. It’s mid-tempo goodness layered with some amazing vocal inflections by Yemi. Africa (track 7), which features Sauti Sol, is another amazing one that sells the African continent- they complement each other well on the thud driven beat. Kelele (track 9), which features Rotimi Keyz, should delight the Yoruba people as this song was made with them in mind- the interlude especially makes for the time Yoruba people would need to ‘komole’ and the sort.
Those are not the only good songs on the album but they are representative of the general sound and the good thing is: even though the album is a collection of Afropop, each song has its peculiarity thus not rendering the album repetitive or boring. At the worst, only 2 songs could fall short: TumBum (track 2) and Tonight featuring P Square (track 3).
With Mama Africa, Yemi Alade has ample material to use for performance purposes on any platform, across Africa. She can perform the bulk of these songs with as much energy as possible backed up by amazing dancers with skilled choreography and it would be a show worth remembering.
So get to buying the album and get to dancing. Or if you need a rev for your work-out, this should be perfect.
Written by: Ade Tayo