Africa RnB King (@2faceidibia) 2face Idibia's ALBUM REVIEW "The Ascension Artiste"
Album – The Ascension
Features – Machel Montano, Vector, Iceberg Slim, Rocksteady, Bridget Kelly, Dammy Krane, Kim Almarcha, Shurwayne, Fally Ipupa, Sir Victor Uwaifo and Tony One Week,
Running Time – 65 minutes
Record Label – Hypertek Digital/960 Music Group (2014)
Ain't nobody else doing this business of music the way afro pop/R&B legend, 2face Idibia does his.Tubabaraised the stakes when he pushed himself past his limits onThe Ascensionalbum. New sounds, new collaborations, new concept… new everything, and the title fits perfectly because this new take to his music art is so not the usual. It's a gravitational shift away from the tailored style of making records that have become all too popular in the industry.
The genres in which the album was built showed how much room for diversity 2face had allowed. He's not resting on his oars having bagged the title ofafroR&B king. He's launched into the deep in a new market by crossing international boarders whilst delivering with a flavour that keeps him endeared.
2face opensThe Ascensionwith Machel Montano onGo– an all vibe and groove track that messes with your music mind, shakes your spirit and stirs up velocity flowing through the ends of your body. You may want to tread with caution here especially when blasting it's sound from a properly tuned system otherwise you may have damaged the repeat button before exhausting the album.
#Aprokois Tubaba's gift to all them Twitter haters and detractors. The track has the signature of beats savvy Leriq – loud claps, pounding kicks and an eclectic mix of sounds. Only 2face can pull off a melodious rant like this without sounding any bit pained or personal.
2face didn't miss out on the opportunity to deal his fans some chilling music.Holidaywill not exactly be everybody's favourite but for those who wanna take a breather off life's worries, it can manage to do some justice.
I Can't Hear Youwith Vector is one of those tracks on the album that you just have to ask, what is this doing here?
It's an all strings affair onBest I Can Be.Tubabaswagged his lines off the beat and bass kicks. Iceberg Slim's decent rap delivery deserves an applaud for being the icing on this cake. When you add that with Rocksteady's vocal cut, you have all the cherry topping you need on this cake's icing. A live acoustic version would totally ROCK!
On the love-themed tracks, there'sHate What You Do To MeandClose To Where You Are– a sample of songs that have defined the standard for 2face's music art in the R&B genre.Kiss of Lifeis like a chill pill off all the energy thatThe Ascensionbrings. Here, he tones things down and serenades you with vocals that shine on a love ballad.
2face brought the best of his lyrical a-game onLet Somebody Love Youwith Bridget Kelly. While his lines dissected issues on relationships and alone-ness, Bridget on the other hand sang with such emotioned vocals; a clever attempt at showing the deep and intense sensitivity of the lyrical subject being portrayed.
International Lovingis perhaps the most beautiful duet ever. 2face sure knows how to pick them girls for his features. Kim Almarcha's contralto (although soft and somewhat airy), comes out quite audibly as she delivers her lines infrançaiswhile keeping her vocal embellishments to a professional standard. Together, their harmonies can literally take you to a world where love indeed has no language barriers.
Confessionswith mentee, Dammy Krane is another lovers' favourite. Leriq wired so much bass and claps alongside swirling effects into the reggae-inspired number, and then Rocksteady really began to sound so much like Burnaboy. Beautiful song, beautiful vocaldelivery!
2face returns to showing off the African genres with Shurwayne onBoulay Boulay –a typical happy song with some electro-fusion at the end that made for quite a dramatic close. The Zouk-styledDiaspora Womanwith Fally Ipupa will fail in appealing to his Nigerian fans. Rather, it's a quick sell for his other African fans who savour sound treaties like this. Quite a bold strategy for cutting across francophone markets. He goes on to paying tribute to legendary musician, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti on his self-styled afrobeat-inspired number,Jejewhere he sings with a sass attitude on doing his 'tin' and not showing himself. Impressive!
2face pulls a weak attempt at high life onLesse Passewith Sir Victor Uwaifo. It'd be totally understandable if you press skip on this one but the tingly feel of those melodies from the lead strings, made for an almost close save. He redeems it onIfe Dinmawith Tony One Week. It's a track that gets you wriggling your waist from side-to-side and boogey-ing down the African way.
He closesThe Ascensionwith the chant-esqueNot A Surprise. It will get you pushing your hands up in the air and going "hay-hay" before you finally realize you're already up on your feet. Simply put, don't get tired of hustling. When you fall down, pick yourself back up and tryagain again again!
The Ascensionalbum is everything an original African album should boast of, and I'm not just talking about features or titles alone. It's evident in the album's content and musical instrumentation – totally African! With 17 tracks that feel like 7, 2face successfully whipped up an album that reeks of energy from start to finish. While he never falls short with his lyrics or vocal styling,The Ascensionis a test of his creative prowess which saw him come out with blazing guns proving that he is indeed, a musician at heart. He is 2face Idibia and he's still king ofafroR&B.
Rating – 3.5/5
Reviewed byJim Donnett[@jimancipation