Critical Breakdown:- Wande Coal – Wanted [ Album Review

Critical Breakdown:- Wande Coal – Wanted [ Album Review

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Artiste:- Wande Coal
Album:- Wanted
Record Label:- Black Diamond Entertainment
Distributed By:- I-Tunes
Guest Appearances:- Burna Boy, AKA, 2Face Idibia, Seyi Law,Maleek Berry, IamJimmie, Wizkid and King Spesh
Producers:-  Maleek Berry, Xela, Sarz, Leriq, J-Fem, Major Bangz, Legendury Beatz and Beat Freakz
Release Date:- October 25th 2015 

Critical Breakdown 

After that, he put the whole world on hiatus” – or “I-Hate-Us”; according to Falz’s pronunciation on the first skit on Wande Coal’s sophomore album Wanted. And that pretty much sums the opinion of the general public on Wande Coal for almost eight years.

Beyond all doubt, Wande was one of the now-defunct Mo Hits Records’ brightest stars.Making his debut (at least visually) in the video for D’Banj’s smash single Why Me,Wande was loved by everyone. After gist started to make the rounds that he co-wrote half of D’Banj’s most successful album, The Entertainer, co-wrote half of the Mo Hits Collective Album CV, his name was pretty much on every lip. Even a lackadaisically-recorded and mixed album (Mushin To Mo’ Hits) wasn’t enough to dampen the buzz.Wande was a household name.

Then came the controversy.

First was the really unflattering picture of a nude Wande Coal, apparently having a post-coital siesta – which Don Jazzy infamously tagged a photoshop creation. Then came the allegations of performing high on stage and forgetting his lyrics. Then came the splitwith Mavins (formerly Mo Hits) and the public spat with the Don who accused Wande of ‘stealing’ one of his songs. Before all that came an incredible single ‘Private Trips’ that was horribly mixed – great song nonetheless – which reminded us why we love the Coal fella in the first place.As time continued to progress and new artists were being birthed on a daily basis it seemed as though Wande had gone the way of most before him – a tongue-in-cheek one hit wonder.

But it seemed as though the Mavins split was the break he needed – because suddenly he was flooding the airwaves with single after single again. There was one with Flavor – and then another with Yemi Alade.

Finally, an album title and release date was announced.It seemed mostly as though Wande wasn’t unduly concerned with the anticipation of his second effort – or maybe he intended to start all over again. What that does to the Wanted album is to make it a stand-alone project; with no ties to the past at all.

Is that a good thing?

Wande Coal – Baby Hello

The album opens with an attempt by comedian Seyi Law to make humor by linking Wande’s disappearance and reappearance to the change in Nigerian government. What that does it to give the intro a timed feel; as it was obviously recorded when power supply was at a all time high. Now that things have reverted to status quo, doesn’t that make the skit irrelevant?

Adura is a nicely-produced inspiring number – despite the lazy lyrics. Superwoman drops the tempo a bit, but not the ball; nice production, average lyrics. Wande continues this trend of amazing beats laced with lazy/average lyrics for the next three tracks; We Ball, Same Shit featuring AKA and Monster. We Ball is no doubt a club banger; treading the line between smooth groove and head-nodder.

The first skit of the album, featuring Mr. Falz That Bad Guy himself is a smart one,laying out all our fears and concerns about Wande’s ‘i-hate-us’ in his affected Yoruba accent. Look out for the part Falz says “Somebody even said that they set eyes on him,in one eatery in Mushin serving moi-moi.”

Dayum.

Wande Coal – Ashimapeyin

The title track Wanted announces itself quite loudly; bouncy and energetic beat complete with simple lyrics. African Lady stands out, and not in a good way as it disrupts the feel and flow of the album. Someone should tell these artists; just because Flavour scores with highlife tracks doesn’t mean it is for everybody. Ashimapeyin, the third official single follows and its something for the dance floor. Weekend is a very smooth number –about the standout track in the twenty-three entries. Plenty Love is another entry into the highlife bandwagon – Wande should get off already. Another skit – quite boring follows – and then, another entry into the Tuface  Idibia lame collaborations Make You Mine is next. Wande is his typical self – but Tu Baba frankly disappoints. Low Key, Iyawo Mi, Jelly are album fillers, Baby Hello is still the monster hit it was early this year. Wanted Remix sounds like something Shank should be on, with Burna Boy laying down patois backup lines. Kpono with WizKid, yet another highlife song is bland. Bonus track Amorawa with Burna Boy sounds a lot better than a lot of other tracks – and the last track My Way is the first single that dropped sometime in 2014 (citation needed).

Still a good listen.

Wande Coal – Same Shit Featuring AKA

In terms of cohesiveness, Wanted is actually an album – upgrading the ‘compilation-feel’ of his first. And it is a lot better mixed and therefore easier on the ears. But where Wande saved the first album with his strong songwriting abilities, one cannot help but notice the ‘more money, less skill’ apparent on Wanted. After spending seventy-four minutes listening to the whole thing, there’s a tendency to feel dissatisfied – especially if you were a fan of the first album. There’s a smattering of maturity all over the album – Wande would be better off embracing that. Still, it’s another entry in a hopefully-extensive catalogue; and is worth a listen.

Two down, Mr. Wande Coal.

Plenty more to go; hopefully.

Beats/Production:-  6/10

Lyrics:- 5/10

Composition/Arrangement:-  4/10

Best Verse:- NIL 

Standout Track:- Ashimapeyin 

Musical Moment:- NIL

Album Rating:-  5/10

 

About The Reviewer
Seun Odukoya is a graduate of Educational Psychology, the award-winning author of the e-book For Days and A Night, e-comic Songs About AIDS, the online series Saving Dapo, the physical book Saving Dapo and another e-book Love Drops. He is also a speaker; he spoke at the first-ever TEDx Unilag in March 2015 on the topic Rape and Rape Culture in Nigeria.
His writings can be found at www.seunodukoya.wordpress.com and he tweets as @seunodukoya.

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