Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Pulse Album Review: For Sunny Neji, happiness is all that matters on “LoveWins”

Sunny Neji "LoveWins" album cover

With projects like this, you get a reminder that there’s still genius that lies beyond pop music, if only you can find it.

Album - LoveWins
Artist - Sunny Neji
Record Label - Impakt Records (2017)
Duration: 38 minutes

Positivity is a timeless and necessary message, and Sunny Neji pops up with a full dose of it on this project we didn’t know we needed. The Highlife maestro returns with another album to add to his glowing collection of records.

Popular for his extensive work in the genre, including the classic love song, ‘Oruka’, Sunny Neji has had a career that many will dream for. But he keeps pushing the art. New project “LoveWins” adds to his discography, pushing a specific narrative; one of happiness, reconciliation, hope and love.

At 8 songs and 35 minutes of running time, the album is a concise effort, released with very little promo. It almost feels like Neji sneaked this one in, pushing the music through a digital release, and shunning any press about the project. Perhaps it’s a classic case of ‘OG complacency’, or a severe situation of confidence, where he trusts his fans to telepathically know when and how to find his new project.

LoveWins” expands on thematic positivity, with reconciliatory apology opening the album on ‘Sorry’. Neji sings his apology to his lover, accepting the blame for any issues, and promising to be a better man. It’s the classic story of the masculine life, an old school wisdom that holds true to this day. ‘My baby’ is its continuation; love song, designed over live instruments, simply for the sake of romantic expressions.


Highlife and wealth have always found new ways to coexist. And that partnership is very pronounced on ‘Money no get enemy’, with its lead guitars, drumming and Phyno’s dexterity. The closing track is also a variation of this single. ‘Cinema’ is the baller-braggadocio single, screaming ‘I’m making my money’. Only this time, it has Highlife as its genre, rather than the familiar Hip hop where it is a requirement.  CDQ shows up on the Afrobeat-influenced ‘Afefe’, its interacting rhythms and horn solos, meandering through to a heavy rap verse.

But the gem of the crop is ‘Aeroplane Turner’, a slow, uplifting rendition which speaks hope into the Nigerian situation. Sunny Neji plugged into his most creative and emotional self, to create a record that envelopes the listener, while administering healing to troubled hearts. It mingles guitars with sequential rattles, resulting in a solemn swooner. It’s a heartening reminder that good music can actually sound good, almost ethereal.

It’s easy to get sucked into the pop machinery that drives today’s sonic creativity. But with projects like this, you get a reminder that there’s still genius that lies on the outside, if only you can find it.

Rating: 3.5/5


3-Worth Checking Out
4-Smoking Hot

from pulse.ng - Nigeria's entertainment & lifestyle platform online

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