Critical Album Breakdown – Tuface Idibia – Away And Beyond [ Album Review ]
Artiste: 2Face Idibia
Label: Hypertek Records.
Guest appearances: Huma Lara, Terry tha Rapman, Dammy Krane, Rocksteady, Becca, Naeto C.
Production Credits: Femi Ojetunde, J.sleek, Arsonal, Spells, Clutchie, Kiki Banson.
Critical Album Breakdown [ C.A.B ]
What better name for an album that signifies the transcendence of an artiste’s career to a level never been attained by peers and competition alike? The album name ‘Away and Beyond’ and the artiste in question, 2face Idibia. Away from all the noise surrounding his personal life for a minute, Innocent reminds us of the reason why his brand is keenly followed by all and sundry with this offering. 15 tracks/songs with no break, ‘Away and Beyond’ will go down in history as a Nigerian contemporary music classic.
A critical examination of the 15 songs will reflect a balanced sound diet with something for every music head with productions by Femi Ojetunde (the brain behind TQ’s ‘west side’) J.sleek, clutchie, Spellz, Arsonal and a host of other producers. They all came together to make this album the timeless piece that it is.
The album kicks off immediately with ‘Higher’, an indication of where the music came from. Ever conscious 2face sings ‘to be civilized you don’t have to be educated’ whilst Huma Lara assist with vocals for the chorus which adds a trace of Indian elements on this one which can be called reflection music. Next up is ‘Omo t’osan’ which contrary to what would be expected from the title is a song in honor of his dream girl. Mature production by J.sleek on this one. The third track ‘Bother you’ features Terry tha Rapman, one of 6 guest appearances on the album. It’s interesting how 2Face can visit the subject of love from different perspective but who can do it better than one who has had so much drama surrounding his love life. This track talks about the negative influence of external input on a relationship, while Terry Tha Rapman came strong with a good verse to give the song a Hip-Hop flavour.
‘Spell Bound’ is a song with dance hall feel which talks about a seductress that exploits her strong points to deceive her prey as he sings ‘check out! This sexy black queen of spider/ be sure before you stand beside her’. At some point you start to wonder who the Sub on this one is aimed at. On ‘Steady Steady’ 2Baba admonishes is to be easy on how we approach accomplishing our aspirations on an upbeat sound from J.sleek. Track 6 is ‘Dance in the Rain’. This track resonates a feeling of peace attained as a result of the new place he has found himself,and The beat by Femi Ojetunde is on point, lyrics and delivery on point as well. This in my opinion should vie for song of the year on any chart as 2Face sings ‘there’s so much to live for here I swear/ I will bask in the sun and dance in the rain’. ‘In your eyes’ is a song that addresses the issues of today subtly and still resonates hope on a folklore-ish kind of sound. ‘Freedom is Life’ is rendered in both English and his local dialect.
The lead single of the album comes next. ‘Rainbow’ is a song that again indicates that much of the content of this album is inspired by happenings in his life as 2Face sings ‘ever since I left you girl it’s like I fell off/ now I can’t get back online it’s like I logged off’. ‘Dance floor’ is a groovy song that is indicative of the creative compatibility that 2Face and Femi Ojetunde enjoys as the later’s beats are able to bring out conscious deliveries from the artiste. ‘Keep on pushing’ ‘Ihe Neme’ and ‘O.N.D’ are all tunes that can be danced to albeit in different contexts. ‘Ihe Neme’ stands out of this 3 as the club banger of the lot whilst ‘O.N.D’ is has that element that caters to the needs of the streets and which features Hypertek’s new signees Rocksteady and Dammykrane.
The curtain falls on this genius body of work with the songs ‘Bad Guy, Bad Girl’ and ‘Chemical Reaction’. The former features Ghanaian Artiste Becca and the latter, Naeto C, and both artistes did justice, and maintained a solid chemistry with Tuface. Credit should be given to the A&R on this project as their efforts have succeeded in making it hard to fit this offering in any particular box. Listening closely, anyone with a good ear for music will be able to detect the various elements of R&B, Reggae, Dancehall, Pop, and Soul spiced up with a variety of local sounds. After a 2 year hiatus, this offering by 2Face will make up for the time spent waiting for this release and still suffice for another 2 years if need be. Delivery check, Production check, Lyrical content check, Collaborations check, Subject matter check. Timeless music that cannot be labeled is what I call this. Have a safe trip as you journey to ‘Away and Beyond’ via your music player.
Collective Lyrics: 9/10
Favorite verse: All verses
Best Production: Dance in the rain
Shock value: Nil