Album: Simisola (2017)
Simi is widely loved. Her signature thin voice is unmistakable and her music making abilities extend to the role of studio engineer as she mixes and masters to perfection (she mixed and mastered all 16 songs on Adekunle Gold’s debut album). And while Simisola, her debut album, is sweet and a lot of fun; it’s also a missed opportunity to show dexterity on a sonic level. A lot of the songs follow a certain structure and it would have been delightful to see her explore another or more genre(s), like rap, as she did on Want to, on the collaborative EP with Falz.
This is not in any way an indictment because when juxtaposed with the collaborative EP- titled, Chemistry– with Falz, it seems that was a better performance in general so Simi can do and be more. Also, because of the similar thread running through the seams of a lot of the songs, despite their pleasantness, fatigue can set in early.
Remind Me (track 1) is expertly assisted by the piano and as sparse as it may seem, it’s still genius because it allowed for Simi to sing from the heart, leaving little room for sonic distractions. And only when she’s not singing do we experience a huge burst of sounds, all making the song a soothing and great opener.
Lending its base from Fela’s Afrobeat (not to be confused with Afrobeats), Joromi (track 2) is delightful. Underlying Simi’s croon about a ’Joro’ that’s refusing to take a cue, is a mixture of Afrobeat and Yoruba-pop sounds.
Artistes usually have these party-quota songs in their album that would ensure a spot (or spots) at the numerous weddings/parties that happen in a year and that’s what Aimasiko (track 3) is and the interlude that starts at the 2:25 marks, makes this all the more clear. As does; o wa n’bę (track 9).
A lot of the songs are sweet love songs, with euphoric harmonies, gushing from a heart that is being pumped by the bliss of true love; Complete Me (track 4), Gone For Good (track 5), Take Me Back (track 8, ft; Adekunle Gold) and Angelina (track 11) all fit the bill
Fela’s influence is, again, apparent on Original Baby (track 6) as horns accompany the chants of original baby but it’s also really, really cute; moreso because of the lyrics which – sometimes- sings like the wordings of a teenage girl trying to win the heart of a potential Prince Charming and segues into lines of great life lessons for all and sundry; …everybody get him personality, my guy live your life, person wey go love you go love you…
The layers of instrumentation on Smile For Me (track 10) maintain a sweet consistency as Simi’s harmonious tone rises and falls, providing a dreamy listen.
Love Don’t Care (track 13), Jamb Question (track 14) and Tiff (track 15) are the bonus tracks and considering how qualitative they are, they could have replaced 3 of the initial songs bringing the total number of tracks on Simisola to 12 as opposed to 1. At the end of play, it’s a commendable debut filled with sweet love songs. Probably not the greatest of debuts but worth your time and money.