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EP: Redemption (2016)

Artiste: Burna Boy

Burna Boy’s rise to prominence was quite meteoric. In instances where others would have to toil and ‘pay their dues’ for a long while before hitting the bull’s eye, Burna hit the mark rather quickly. A fortunate instance he ascribes to the distinct character of his sound; he said to on air personality, Toolz, at the Beat 99.9 FM, years ago, that nobody sounded like him at the time, and that was the reason for the quick and somewhat easy reception of the ‘Burna Boy’ brand and sound.

Jidenna also appears to be a believer because, asides Tiwa Savage, Davido and Wizkid, he believes the next person to comfortably penetrate the American market, is Burna Boy. And with the birth of Burna’s new EP, Redemption, the proof is in the pudding as it provides ample evidence of Burna’s impressive skill.

The only producer on the EP is Leriq and it seems anytime these two set out to make a record, they achieve a home run. Their first outing was on Burna’s first album, L.I.F.E, where Leriq was also the sole producer, and music pundits will testify to the greatness and critical acclaim of that piece of art.

At some point, however, Burna and Leriq fell out and that’s why he (Leriq) didn’t have any production credit on Burna’s second album, On a Spaceship, which felt rushed and had lesser impact, than his first. Bearing all this in mind, it appears Leriq and Burna are a match made in music heaven and should remain co-collaborators for as long as possible. Redemption is a love child of these 2 music makers and yet again, they have made timeless music.

Redemption is a smooth sail consisting of 7 above par records and Burna’s flow, through each, could be addictive. It’s also an EP with the replay factor on a lock-down.

Pree Me (track 1) is, possibly, the best song on the EP as it portrays Burna playing to his vocal strength. His vocal range is limited but he has cultured it to a point where it can compete, comfortably, with the high ranges of others.

Boshe Nlo (track 3) is as delightful as it is feel good as Burna alternates between husky-esque and falsetto-esque deliveries. Mary Jane (track 4) has a technical arrangement because of Leriq’s trap like production, the vocal alterations, additions and excerpts, all coming together to create a steadily paced song.

The lovers anthem on Redemption is Body to Body (track 5). The vocal undercurrent, strategically placed, and tonal changes is reminiscent of the R&B songs that held sway in the late 90’s and early 2000’s while patois comes alive on Plenty Song (track 6).

Unlike Mary Jane, which only has a dominant trap like production, from Leriq, We On (track 7) features an actual trap like flow from Burna.

Definitely a solid EP and unsurprisingly, Leriq comes through.

This is in toast to these 2 (Burna & Leriq) and many more years of music making. They should keep each other as happy and satisfied as possible because, match made in music heaven.

Written by Ade Tayo.