If you were underestimating what Kiss Daniel would put out in the form of an album, then you’re not alone. Kiss Daniel (real name Daniel Anidugbe) probably surprised a lot of peeps with his new album, New Era. Now let’s get into the specifics.
The album kicks off with a reggae-esque New King, a self proclamation of being at the top, but honestly if this was indication of how the album was going to be, it is a tad bit disappointing. Thankfully, this is one of the few underwhelming tracks on the album. By the time we get to Jombo, the album really kicks into high gear, with a smooth, easily lovable tune that has the catchiest of hooks. Staying with the love theme, the album gets to the hit track, Mama, and now we’re really in business.
Even though, the theme of a lot of “pop-ish love” songs stay the same, the sounds are refreshing enough that every one sounds like a new experience. Kiss Me, Woju, Give Into and others follow this trend. But you’ll be mistaken if you get lured into thinking there are no songs of substance.
One of the stand out tracks, Alone, is classic example of a song on the album that shows just how musically deep Kiss Daniel can get. The lyrics hit home for anyone who’s had forge ahead based on self assurance and self determination. Melodically, it sounds as traditional as you’ll get for a mellow rhythm. Reminiscent in a weird way of 2pac’s If There Be Pain from a melodic standpoint. DJ Coublon deserves an award for this.
Another track that sticks out for it’s great lyrical content is Another Day. The track sees Daniel touch on the weird cycle of the hustle life. Another day, another problem, another hustle, another fine babe. Sin City follows a similar trend in terms of solid lyricism, and for a pop artist, you have to give it up to Kiss Daniel.
But not all is A+ material on the album. Songs like Ghetto Boys and Nothing Dey could’ve been cut from the final release of the album compared to some other tracks on the project.
The project overall is a very solid piece of work. Productions from DJ Coublon (Woju, Napo, Alone, Are You Alright), Young John (Mama), MasterKraft (Jombo, Sin City), and Beatburx (Another Day) bring out every flavour of sounds that makes this a very good Afro-Pop album. The already pre-released hit tracks also make for good high moments while discovering the album. If there’s a pit fall to the album, it’s that it potentially could’ve been trimmed some more. A few tracks could’ve been cut out. And Woju Remix would’ve been a good bonus track on a the album.
New Era, ironically does well in attempting to usher in a new era of pop music in Nigeria. A new set of expectations, and a new standard. It’s no longer acceptable to have an album, under the umbrella of pop, that has similar sounding tracks. You can be pop, and still have depth and substance to your project. For this, we say a big Kudos to Kiss Daniel and his team.