Artiste – Burna Boy
Album – Twice As Tall
Producers – Leriq, Telz, Rexxie, P2J, Timbaland, Anderson .Paak, Mike Dean, Andre Harris etc.
Record Label – Spaceship Entertainment, Atlantic Records
Duration – 15 Tracks, (Approx. 53 Minutes).
It’s been a little over a year since Burna Boy dropped his Grammy-nominated album ‘African Giant’ and without much ado, the talented singer came through again guns blazing with fifth studio album ‘Twice As Tall‘.
‘Twice As Tall’ comes as a sequel to what Burna Boy started on ‘African Giant’, he maintains the same fervour and message in a general sense.
A little disappointed after he failed to win the Grammy award for ‘Best World Music Album’ from his last nomination, Burna Boy makes another clear attempt at copping the revered Grammy. This is the morale behind ‘Twice As Tall’ album.
The album starts off with ‘Level Up (Twice As Tall)‘, Burna Boy shows a little bit of vulnerability as he shares his feeling after losing the Grammy to his idol Angelique Kidjo. ‘The Grammys had me feeling sick … throwing up’ but however, he is back more confident feeling twice as tall. It is about the best intro to this sort of album, once again Burna Boy features Senegalese singer-songwriter Youssou N’dour for extra effects.
Moving on from the sober feel of ‘Level Up’, comes the warning alarm track 2 titled ‘Alarm Clock‘ starting out with some voice-over from Diddy. It is a song of gratitude to God for just being alive and yet a warning to get up and keep it moving.
As the name suggests, ‘Way Too Big‘ probably is the first track on the album that really sets you off with the heavy instrumental and lyrics. Burna Boy goes pretty hard on the beat as he declares his stance as the true giant. He clearly states that anyone who tries to carry his weight would buckle. Are you unsure of your abilities, this is one track you should have on repeat. The next song ‘Bebo‘ is what should be a dance track but in truth fails to elicit that urgency to dance or sway just a little.
Up next is the Afro Funk track ‘Wonderful‘, released as a lead single with Burna Boy showing he can rock just about any beat and genre. Most likely you might skip because you already heard it before. ‘Onyeka (Baby)‘ is an encomium to the African woman, beautiful, dramatic and worth fighting for. The track holds some elements of highlife. ‘Naughty By Nature‘ has a veteran hip-hop group of the same name gracing the song, Burna Boy just wants to party with some ‘fine fine’ ladies cos it’s his nature. This would definitely serve as a party starter.
‘Comma‘, alright skip. Another Leriq production ‘No Fit Vex‘ comes blasting through, Burna says he wishes his associates well while keeping a reasonable distance from them as he continues hustling. He’s got no beef with anybody. The tune is calm as it is philosophical.
It’s all good vibes on ‘23‘, a reflection of how far one has come; the highs and lows, the accolades and criticisms. However, there that much more important reality that you made it thus far standing up tall. Burna Boy symbolizes the legendary Michael Jordan here. ‘Time Flies‘ is the best track on ‘Twice As Tall’ musically speaking, the production, lyrics, melody, everything was in harmony. Burna did well to feature Sauti Sol who did a madness on the record, feel free to hit the replay button as many times as you please.
‘Monsters You Made‘ is the hardest track on the album, Burna Boy poured his soul into the record. The production is mad and the lyrics are crazy on the sociopolitical conscious tune. You could hear the rage in the singer’s voice, a big shout out to Chris Martin for the nice chorus.
Another one for the street titled ‘Wetin Dey Sup‘, the singer through his lyrics mirrors the daily happening in a typical Nigerian city, the violence, police and sirens etc. However, the bottom line is the Nigerian spirit that always finds a way to be happy in spite of the worst circumstances faced daily. We always jaiye!
The album comes to an end with ‘Real Life‘ and ‘Bank On It‘ on a little sober note. There is more to think about as you get into the last minutes of the LP.
There are a few people who would come up with this quality of album within just about a year from their last project. I like the fact that Burna Boy got a lot of international support on working on the album, from Diddy as executive producer to production from Timbaland, Anderson .Paak, Andre Harris etc. The engineering of the album is world-class.
Burna Boy and his team understand how an album rollout should be done and have executed it excellently well. The tracks are arranged to give a listener an album experience not a random playlist of songs.
The music is good, the lyrics came out hard and maybe too raw in some instances. Politics, sexuality are some touchy subjects to talk about however, Burna Boy said what he said straight up without second-guessing. There are some lyrics the queers, politicians and colonialists might not appreciate.
Burna Boy continues to sell African culture and pride in our collective heritage to the wider world through his new album. Hopefully he would get another Grammy nod and also win it for us all.