Entertainment Mon, 18 Aug 2014

Album Review: Ascending the throne with Tuface Idibia’s ‘Ascension’

I tried to evaluate and analyse the songs in this album to my best of ability without my preconception, and expectation of Tuface Idibia’s highly glorified album THE ASCENSION.

Tuface Idibia is among my favourite African artists and in his genre of music in Nigeria, he is my number one, so I hope it surprises no one when I say first, there was no empty throne for Tubaba to ascend to because he has owned it since 2004, when he released his solo album ‘Face to Face’, which featured arguably one of the best songs to emerge out of Africa in the last 20 years, ‘African queen.’

There’ve been possible competitors to the throne that he claimed and cemented his position as number 1 with his sophomore solo album ‘Grass to Grace’, in 2006 that feature people’s anthem like ‘Ebe like say’ which he did with Soul E, ‘One Love’, ‘True Love’, ‘4 instance.’

‘The unstoppable’ and its international edition were also cool, but by then new emerging talents has started gunning for a throne that wasn’t vacant, bad publicity, multiple baby mama dramas etc came up and was used to detract him, he kept the focus and it seems now that’s a chapter in his past Which he ended by tying the Knots with his heartthrob Anne Macaulay Idibia.

“So it’s now a confirmed vice, shouting and trying to have an unimportant conversation into someone’s eardrum in the club with loud music blaring, this track( can’t hear you) is legendary”

His fans believe it’s a new dawn for their star with the moral victory he won recently via forcing Icon magazine to apologise for trying to drag him in the mud, once again with a false publication on him impregnating a non-existent Banker.

His last album before the Ascension titled ‘Away and Beyond’ was also phenomenal, tacks like ‘Omotosho’, ‘Rainbow’, ‘Ihe neme’, were pure, perfect and powerful.

There have been different twist and turns in his life story, from being an armed robbery casualty, to car-jacking victim and bullet wound survivor, including unenthusiastic publicity jibes on him, through all these he has kept going, striving to retain his crown but this article is not Tuface Idibia’s bio but about his latest album and the paragraphs above were used to highlight the artist persona in order to get his non followers try to understand his story and psyche.

Its classic, Tubaba’s recent re-invention of himself has made the tussle for the number one Naija contemporary artist even more difficult, kudos to his management and every member of his team, the purposeful drive they enacted in publicizing the album release is impressive.

Okay back to the matter first of all what is Good Music, “Good” is subjective. But answering the question is important to how we make and listen to music. In our common ground of choice, a good song should be able catch our ears and captivate our attention in order to register in our consciousness to the extent that we can find us even humming the tone unconsciously to ourselves alone or in the company of others.

A good song must first possess clarity of sound and vocals, must carry a message, good lyrics and rhyming, and must have a point of relevance to the time it was made, with a catchy melody these are the points we use to ascertain and decide which song is good which album was on point and which is whack.

The album ‘Ascension’ kicked off to an interesting start with Go, followed by a slow ‘#Aproko’ which unfortunately is among my least liked songs in the album.

‘Holiday’ had an excellent opening with the soulful serenade of Tuface, followed by high pitched delivery, its multiple dimensioned with fast and slow tempo all infused in the track, but the chorus is a bit disappointing, a better chorus would have turned that song into a masterpiece, but the artist and the producer know s the intention of its chosen delivery but it’s a very nice song highly rated.

‘Can’t hear you’ feat Vector had a an amazing beginning and his witty ‘shat up, shat up, shat up’ before the chorus is inventive, this song is on point with the message it carries, he took a dimension and delivered an important message that people had always ignored, so it’s now a confirmed vice, shouting and trying to have an unimportant conversation into someone’s eardrum in the club with loud music blaring, this track is legendary.

In spite of the “if you’re not talking about money you are talking bullshit” and vector’s ‘if no be money matter you wan talk inside my ear my ear my ear, I no wan hear anything again here my dear my dear”. Money is not the only subject worth talking in our society and overemphasising the importance of money can lead to relapse in the mind and morals of our youths.

‘The best I can be’ is a realism commanding song that interprets the complexity of some human situations and making the best of it, trying to live normal and be perfect in an abnormal song, the two artist featured helped in perfecting it, it’s a song for poignant recap.

‘International loving’ feat Kim Almarcha is another excellent composition combining two languages, talking about the barrier of language in love, ‘I speak English and she parle Francaise”.

Another nice collaboration that will endear him at the global level and sustain his presence in the international scene like ‘Diaspora Woman’ with Fally Ipupa, Tubaba has shown the power of diversification, satisfying both his home grown and international listeners, no artist in Nigeria in the current decade has made this attempt in the unique way he did.

‘Boulay Boulay’ is another nice one with Caribbean and Soca fusion, featuring Shurwayne Winchester a Trinidad and Tobago musician, though the production is a bit less sharp than the rest of the songs on the album and its message a bit hard to digress still it’s a good try.

‘JEJE’ another nice one is a social message to everybody, urging we all to take life easy as we embark on our different professions, and it’s a near sample of something to expect from Fela Kuti The international Afrobeat legend.

Remarkable songs that are bound to catch your attention from the onset in this album are ‘GO’ feat Machel Montano, ‘Kiss of Life’, ‘Hate what you do to me’, ‘International Loving’, ‘Lesse Passe’, ‘Jeje’, ‘Diaspora Woman’, to me Diaspora Woman is the most catchy of them all with its danceable tone, I think everyone who loves reflective songs should get a copy, I therefore rate the ‘Ascension’ album a 90/100.

Which on a very good day it’s an excellent attempt try that will keep Tuface Idibia on the throne for some time more, being able to still be relevant almost two decades from the Plantashun Boiz era is not an easy endeavor, people like Idris Abdulkarim, Tony Tetuila and so much more are no longer on the Naija Music scene despite their efforts, we wish all players in the African music industry good luck.

About the writer: COOKIE BERRETA is a music connoisseur who owns more than a thousand music albums, and has listened to thousands more, his greatest love is listening to music and creative writing, his taste for music, ranges from Highlife to Rnb, Ragga, Classics, Reggae, Kwaito, Rap, Jazz, Ballads, Metal, Rock n Roll, Pop, Gbedu, Afro beat Indigenous Gospel, hip-life, country, Blues, Soul music, Oldies and more.

Source: C. Beretta