Critical Breakdown:- Leriq – The Lost Sounds

Critical Breakdown:- Leriq – The Lost Sounds [ Album Review ]


Artiste:- Leriq
Album:- The Lost Sounds
Record Label:- Aristrokrat Records/Universal Music Africa
Distributed By:- Spinlet/I-Tunes [ Online ]
Guest Appearances:- Ill Bliss, Chidinma, Ozone, Kamar Tachio, LOS, Burna Boy, Dammy Krane, Mojeed, Kay Switch, Cassper Nyovest, Seyi Shay, Wande Coal, Redsan, Shaydee, Wizkid, Phyno, Nneka, 2Face Idibia, Efya, Wurld, Bez, Naeto C, Timaya, Pucado, Trigga Madtonic, Timi Kay, Aina More, Show Dem Camp, Sute & Tay
Producers:- Leriq [ Entirely ]
Track Number:- 20
Release Date:- 28th August 2015

I don’t know when you heard about Burna Boy, but personally, I heard about him in 2011 when a friend of mine sent me his Burn Notice mixtape and told me to check it out, knowing that I have a thing for discovering and promoting talented underground acts, Immediately I listened to it, I was sold and though I was then blogging with a strictly Hip-Hop website, I found a way to sneak his song “Freedom” on the blog. Not only was I captivated by his style which was new , fresh and distinct at the time, I was also interested in his production which was somewhat avante-garde and well polished for an unknown act, It was a well packaged project that listed the producer credits and I got aquainted with Leriq almost as soon as I got to know Burna Boy. Some months later with Burna Boy fully on my radar, he released his second Mixtape Burn Notice which spurred the hit songs Abeg, Abeg Abeg, Fulfilling All Righteousness Featuring Sauce Kid, Firewood and Touch Your Toes Featuring Davido, as we all know the rest became history. If Leriq who was pictured on both Mixtape sleeves was not catapulted into the consciousness of the average music fan with this mixtape, He certainly was when Burna Boy’s official debut single Like To Party dropped.

                    Some months later Burna Boy’s debut album L.I.F.E dropped Leriq earned the rare distinction as a producer who entirely produced a hit project and joined the pantheon of greats alongside producers such as ID Cabasa [ 9iceStreet Credibility Album ], Don Jazzy [ All D’Banj’s Albums and Wande Coals Mushin To Mo-Hits , OJB Jezreel [ 2FaceFace 2 Face ]. However, Leriq strived for more, kept producing different songs for other acts as well as catering to the Aristokrat records rooster.Last month, he earned another rare distinction as a producer who put out an entire album with a major record label when he released his debut album The Lost Sounds compilation.

The album which boasts 20 songs and 30 guest appearances starts off with Where You Dey which features Illbliss, Chidinma and Ozone, Its a song that recalls the days of humble beginnings and celebrates the successes which all the artistes have experienced thus far, while Bliss and Ozone spat some very relevant bars, songbird Chidinma did well to compliment them with a well rendered hook. Next track Multiply features LOS and Kamar Tachio and was performed over an uptempo quickfire snap-rap instrumental which was matched by all the Rappers on the song who displayed their lyrical abilities quite well ( I especially liked the Hausa chorus on this one ). The next song is the chart topping hit single Comment Tu’ Tapelle which was the first single released to promote the album and featured Dammy Krane, Ozone, Burna Boy & Mojeed, a song everyone knows about and we all collectively agree it’s one of the best collaborations in Nigerian Urban Music. An unorthodox pairing occurs on the next song Hell Of It which features Kay Switch and South African Rapper Cassper Nyovest, It’s a dancehall tinged song and had Kay Switch handling the hook and dropping verses with a hybrid patois style while Cass went in lyrically with a braggadocios verse, it’s a good song, but definitely not one of the best songs on the project. The Wande Coal featured Wish List is the first solo feature on the project and had Wande serenading the ladies with his distinct voice over a mellow middle-eastern vibe and he displayed a part of him many fans seem to have forgotten, his sheer ability to destroy any R&B track which he definitely did on this one, creating one of the stand-out songs on the project. Xtacy featuring Seyi Shay is the next song on the project, it’s a sensual number which had her performing over the snap beat, reminiscent of the kind of music she used to make before she added the “Afro” flavour to her music, it’s a good song that even had her spitting some feeble rap bars but she managed to pull it off and created an enjoyable album filler. Nigeria meets Kenya on the next song All I Need Is You as Leriq combined the smooth vocals of Shaydee with the gruff reggae vibes of Redsan to concoct another solid track, if anyone has any doubts about Shaydee being one of the best Nigerian vocalists out, this song should convince you, Redsan also gave an A+ performance on this one.

                              Wizkid ( who is having the best year of his career so far ) shows up on the next song Say You Love Me, a song where Leriq sings the hook ( properly too ) and gave Wizkid the cushion to bounce his vocals off on, This is arguably Wizkids best performance on a featured song in a minute. “My wahala don dey too much, dem don dey tire for me / I dey give you wetin you want, just gimme my money / If I’m looking at your girlfriend, I’m sorry na Konji / Mister lover na my talent, e dey for my body” Burna Boy sings on the opening lines of Turn Up, the next song which also features Phyno and was laced with an instrumental which sounded like a combination of 90’s r&b and modern day American Trap music, It was well performed by both acts and is a different sound from what they are accustomed to dishing out. The elusive Nneka appears alone on the next song Stand Still, an EDM track which was supposed to have been called an intermission or a skit as she only managed to muster a few words nevertheless, I think it would fit well into the DJ set at a proper Electronic Dance gig.

                   The next track Answers Featuring 2face Idibia is simply another great performance from the legend who turned 40 last month ( he also kicked a rap verse on it ) while the song after it Show Me is a love song which features Ghanaian diva Efya who also gave a top performance singing soulfully with a nice blend of her local dialect and English language. When a renowned producer gives an unknown artiste an opportunity to feature on his album, then you know he is talented, such was the case with Wurld ( whom I am just hearing of ) who featured on the next song Let You Go, an R&B solo which was well taken by the male vocalist leaving me wanting more and definitely anticipating more of his music. Bez gives off another characteristic stellar performance on the next song Let Me Love You a folk-pop love song which also featured Mojeed who delivered a verse worthy enough to match Bez’s display and together they created one of the best songs of all three of their careers. Naeto C links up with Kamar Tachio on the next song Nagode, a smooth love song on which Naeto displayed his knack for sweet talking the ladies, and Kamar supported him with a verse which was rendered in Hausa and fit the groove of the song like a glove. The sound of the album switches to a west indian vibe on the next song Easy Thing which featured Dancehall artiste Trigga Mad Tonic, while the song didn’t really captivate me, it is going to appeal to lovers of Ragga/Dancehall/Soca music. the sound of the album continues on an upbeat vibe on the Timaya featured Aunty which comes next, this one is simply Timaya blabbing over a hot beat with no incoherent lyrics whatever, but I know the song will work quite well in a party/club setting. With the departure of Burna Boy from Aristokrat Records, Pucado is now the flagship act on the label and in my opinion, he makes good music and he maintained his form on the next song Lataba, on which he utilized his brand of contemporary Trado-funk to celebrate physically endowed females, I appreciated his performance on this one. Rising Port-Harcourt Rapper Timi Kay is teamed up with British-Nigerian Femcee Aina More on the next song Peace a heartfelt song on which they both bared their hearts spitting pungent verses, and giving a good account of themselves as artistes to watch, in that front, they didn’t disappoint. Perhaps in a bid to save one of the best songs for last, Smell Of Success which featured Show Dem Camp , Sute and Tay came last and will definitely be appreciated by anybody who loves good rap music.

In a nutshell this is one of the best albums you will hear out of Nigeria this year. The project has something for everybody regardless of your musical taste. If you’re a fan of all the sub-genres of contemporary urban Nigerian music, you will definitely find a song for you here, I find it hard to fault any song on this album, I also want to give Leriq credit for displaying his eclecticism and meddling with different sounds and vibes to create this project. Leriq joins the likes of OJB Jezreel, Don Jazzy and ID Cabasa as a producer with an Album ( and a good one too ) which every self respecting music connoisseur should have in his collection.

Beats/Production:- 9/10

Lyrics:- 9/10

Composition/Arrangement:- 9/10

Best Verse:- Too many to pick

Standout Track:- Comment Tu’Tapelle Featuring Burna Boy, Dammy Krane, Ozone and Mojeed

Musical Moment:- I was impressed by the diversity of the production on the project

Album Rating:- 9/10