Prepare yourself for positivity, dancing, afrobeats, tropical vibes and a damn lot of feel-good music with Burna Boy and his new record; Twice As Tall.
A genuine theme of sunny music is displayed throughout this album and although Burna Boy’s trademark African style is prevalent in more than a handful of tracks, the record still allows the artist to showcase an element of versatility and a great abundance of musical talent.
Vintage sampling is expertly used at the beginning of album opener Level Up (Twice As Tall). It gives the album a strange but unique start. The mood, beats and voices are very contrasting throughout and you get to feel an array of different atmospheres. All of this, combined with a gentle yet energetic backing tune, makes for a great track.
Alarm Clock has an extreme summer feel to it, it is also very clearly and heavily influenced by jazz. Although short, it does make you want to find a dancefloor and have a boogie on it, which is extremely torturing in times like this. Way Too Big follows and has a commercial pop feel to it, however, it does pick up the pace after a while and changes the style of the album right up. It doesn’t follow that ‘Burna Boy’ sound that everybody knows and loves and is slightly more for the mainstream, definitely showcasing the man’s versatility.
Bebo is next up and it is another calm one, the Nigerian artist’s voice is distorted and quite mumbly which fits his style perfectly. Pauses and a jumpy background beat are utilised and repetition is used to good effect; it is a simple but effective track. The intro to Wonderful’s gospel sound leads you into a fast-paced beat and is an extremely happy song to listen to. It defines everything that is fun in music and gets the feet going and the hips moving. It could well be a favourite on this record and it makes you want to be somewhere hot whilst getting your groove on.
Onyeka (Baby) follows the exact same theme making you wish you could draw the curtains, reopen them and be at the beach with this song blasting out all around you. Naughty By Nature immediately plays afterwards and features the exact rap group that makes up the title of the track. A rather contrasting and chilled style is used allowing the listener to sit back and chill until the classic hip-hop sound provided by Naughty By Nature enters the fray and mixes it up yet again.
Comma reverts back to an African, fast-paced, heavy beating style. You feel as if you cannot sit still whilst listening and it is one of those songs that would not seem out of place at somewhere like Carnival at this time of year. Not Fit Vex follows and although it is fairly difficult to understand the lyrics, it still maintains a tropical vibe to the album’s sound.
23 slows the pace right down and a deeper, calmer mood is felt by the listener. You cannot help but feel that this track is needed at this point in the record to showcase more variety. It really is a great track that manages to demonstrate BB’s voice more and you can feel the emotion pouring out.
As you approach the final third of the album you will hear more featured tracks such as Time Flies which features Sauti Sol. His voice is more than welcome and it blends particularly well with Burna Boy’s notes. It has a catchy chorus and possesses a musical style that once again belongs on the beach. Monsters You Made follows as another featured song withChris Martin of Coldplay. It has a more angry, UK style to it and certainly shakes the album up.
Wetin Dey Sup and Real Life (featuring UK star Stormzy) are both high quality, chilled tracks that could well provide any fan with quality background music, they return us to the same theme that is felt throughout the record whilst setting up extremely well for Bank On It, the final track of the ensemble. For a closing piece, it’s certainly a slow one but does release a great deal of emotion. You can tell Burna Boy is pouring his heart out and signalling the end to a record that provides such an array of lively, happy afrobeats.
It cannot be denied that Twice As Tall is an album that many of us needed in our lives right now. It is positive, energetic, charismatic and sometimes chilled but most of all, it puts a smile on your face and at this stage of a year that has thrown so many challenges at us all, what more could you want? It fully deserves a score of five out of five and is a testament to Burna Boy and his work that continues to impress.