The first quarter of the year 2023 has been immensely productive and amazing for The Upper Entertainment. As a media brand, we stay true to our ethos of Impelling African Culture & Entertainment by constantly rolling out quality content on a daily basis- What better way to kick-start the second quarter of the year than a broad album review?
In this article, our focus is on popular Nigerian singer, Davido and his latest body of work; ‘Timeless’. Davido has been at the apex of the Nigerian entertainment industry for more than a decade, and one must say he has had more than an impressive run so far. The superstar’s journey began with his excellent debut album “Omo Baba Olowo”. The album properly propelled him to the spotlight in the Nigerian music industry, and since then he has been making exploits both locally and internationally.
On the 31st of March 2023, Davido released his fourth studio album “Timeless” and the aura that came with the release was infectious, to say the least. Davido has been off the music scene for a while, leaving a blank space to fill in his absence- and ‘Timeless’ is positioned as a reset button to remind everyone of his place in the Afrobeat space.
The past year was rough for the singer and naturally, fans and listeners expected the album to reflect his emotional state, but instead, the singer keeps it fun, lively, and groovy on the seventeen-track project.
As stated earlier, a lot had happened in Davido’s absence, the space which he left was felt by his fans who were patiently yet eagerly anticipating a return from the superstar. To show their undying support and love for the singer, his fans even went as far as organizing an exclusive concert just to show how yoked their passion was for the “001”.
In this review, the writer gives a close and first-listen review of ‘Timeless’ and explores the composition of the album in terms of its engineering, production, songwriting, lyricism, and overall flow.
The album “Timeless” explores a different direction from Davido’s previous albums. This time, the singer doubles down on the usage of A-list artists, now opting for fast-rising and budding singers, a move most didn’t envisage.
Amapiano has grown bigger and has been accepted largely in
recent years, so it was no surprise that the majority of the album was deployed in this particular sub-genre. Asides from Amapiano, Davido explores Reggae, Highlife, Konto, and Afropop.
The album comprises seventeen tracks and features Skepta, Fave, Angelique Kidjo, Asake, and Focalistic amongst others. Another very interesting thing about the features and guest artist selection on the album is that the two new signings in the rebranded DMW music label, Logos, and Morravey were featured on two tracks on the album and both of them delivered accordingly.
The album starts off with ‘Over Dem‘, a perfect introduction to the project. In ‘Over Dem’, Davido speaks on the originality of his name, and how he is capable of challenging every Goliath or situation standing against him figuratively.
‘Over Dem’ treats listeners to a soothing start, the vocals create a calm atmosphere that spreads through the entire duration of the album. ‘Over Dem’ is a three-minute track that cut through loops and verses.
Talking about the calm and soothing vibe of the first track, the same can also be said for other tracks on the album such as Track 11 “Na Money”, featuring The Cavemen and Angelique Kidjo, and also the Amapiano-themed outro “Champion Sound” featuring Focalistic. The soothing atmosphere brews through the album and is felt greatly in these tracks.
The album had so many standout features and one major standout feature is from UK Grime legend, Skepta on “U (JUJU)” which gave his signature delivery and melodic lyrics over the smooth production.
Other notable features on the album include Fave on “Kante”; Fave fuses a soulful rhythm to the vibe on the album with her melodies. Morravey on track 3 “In The Garden” also renders vocals that sync perfectly with the guitar-based instrumental on the song.
The beat selection, engineering, and production across the album are absolutely good and consistent with the typical sound on his past projects, but also stand out and offer a different vibe to his music.
On this album, Davido worked with brilliant producers like Damie, Blaisebeatz, Rore, and Magicstickz. The entire album presents a bust of different sounds while still staying true to his roots and style sonically.
On the flip side, the album also contains tracks that help you get going and just sets you in a go-mode for the day. We see that in tracks like Bop featuring Dexta Daps and No Competition featuring the rising star, Asake.
Dear reader, it would be a crime to not acknowledge the replay value of this album. You’d agree with me that this album contains a plethora of songs that will definitely be on repeat, as a result of the melodic production, catchy choruses, banging instrumentals, or amazing features, all of which just contribute to its replayability.
Songwriting and lyricism on Timeless are average and did not really show enough effort in the craft of writing, but they are catchy enough to vibe to, and they are lyrics and tunes that are easy to remember and sing along during replay.
Overall, this is a smooth and feel-good album, the type you listen to without getting tired or bored till you find yourself singing along with the correct lyrics.
Davido has chosen to focus on the Amapiano track “Unavailable” on the album featuring South African fast-rising artist Musa Keys. It is glaring that this particular track is very enjoyable and is fast becoming everyone’s favorite, as there is a viral challenge going on for the song across popular social media platforms, especially TikTok.
From the production and rollout of ‘Timeless’, it was clear that Davido might just be exploring a different direction from his previous albums and style. The collaborations showed that Davido aims to make it a different project sonically and also cover a wide range that is essential for his profile. He makes an effort to pull off a sonically balanced album that deploys a dominant genre – Amapiano, while still exploring the other familiar sounds to produce a more holistic project.