Davido isn’t your most talented artist when it comes to vocals but one can’t deny that he knows how to give life to a song.
When Davido announced another album on the way earlier in 2020, a lot of people were skeptical as it wasn’t up to a year since he dropped “A Good Time”.
However, interests piqued when he announced a collaboration with Nicki Minaj, it looked like the new album was going to topple what he had served on “A Good Time”
After being away from social media for three months, Davido returned with “Fem” produced by a new producer he signed into the label, Napji.
The song which as with all Davido’s songs had catchy phrases that people could use in any situation.
The song wasn’t anything too different from what we have heard from Davido but it was nice to jam and that was its selling point.
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Every album has what guides it. It’s not seen but heard in the songs that make up the album. For Wizkid’s “Made In Lagos”, it was the ability for a Lagos boy to get the International market to listen to him, For Burna Boy’s “Twice as Tall”, it was redemption, victory after a loss, and re-inventing African sounds.
In “A Better Time”, the theme isn’t properly dispensed but the name of the album already helps in solving this; for its listeners to have a better time.
The songs are proof of this as while Davido experiments on new sounds, he still tries to have fun. This is his biggest strength, making the audience enjoy whatever ride is about to take them on.
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The album opens with “Fem” which is a warning to his enemies to shut up. Then he follows with “Jowo”, where he praises his lover for her beauty and asks her to marry him.
This song could be interpreted as the 2.0 version of “Assurance” and “1 Millie” as it passes the message. I predict that if he should do a video for this song, his fiancee, Chioma would be his co-star again.
In “Something Fishy”, Davido gets suspicious as his Love Interest becomes distant even after he tries all routes to get her attention.
If there was any time people doubted Nicki Minaj could flow on an Afrobeat, she proved them wrong on “Holy Ground”.
Produced by Speroach Beatz, Davido gets serious with wordplay especially on the chorus where he sings, “If she was a city, she be Timbuktu “
He equates his woman to a sacred temple while at the same time brags about his ability to keep her glued to him.
Nicki flows in the second verse doing a lit bit of singing before she raps, though her verse was as usual beautiful, felt too short.
“Holy Ground” contains sexual themes coated in innocent wordplays.
Amapiano is a genre that Nigerian Artists are beginning to jump on. Its a fun but tactical genre that requires a level of creativity to get right.
Davido goes on the genre on three songs, “Heaven, La La, I Got a Friend”. In ‘Heaven’, the only Amapiano song Davido goes solo, he describes his relationship as a ‘heavenly feeling’, and as with most Nigerian Amapiano, Lyrics take the backseat and fun and cruise at the front row.
This is also true in “La La” which features CKay. “La La” takes a beautiful turn in the refrain where the two artists encourage their lovers to dance to their ‘Makosa’.
In “I Got a Friend”, Davido pays homage to people who he considers as friends, most of them from his DMW crew.
Mayorkun doesn’t do much apart from contributing to the hook and chorus which he is known to be good at. Sho Madjozi is however the strength of the song. The South African Rapper chews the Fresh-produced beat with so much enthusiasm.
In “The Best”, Mayorkun and Davido are what Bonnie and Clyde would be if they were musicians. Mayorkun starts the song with what should be on 2020’s list of best hooks. His wordplay is enough to hold listeners entranced.
Another collaboration on the album that comes close is “Tanana” with Tiwa Savage. Davido was on her “Celia” album on the “Park Well” song.
Tiwa Savage brings back that sass people fell in love with on her verse. Ever the Nigerian Queen of Afro R’n’B, she infuses ecstasy with pidgin English.
On “Fade”, Davido joins Bella Shmurda to pay homage to God in the intro before losing themselves in a woman’s body movement.
This song is albeit confusing, the song seems motivational at the beginning before going wayward. The themes here are scattered. pick a side Davido, “The woman’s body or God.
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The biggest weakness of the album is the monotonous sound that causes some songs to look like an extended version of others.
Speroach Beatz is a wonderful producer and does well in his production but his sound feels monotonous. You don’t need to hear his tagline to know the beats he produced which aren’t bad in its entirety but can get boring if one isn’t careful.
Some collaboration either doesn’t work or sound boring and these issues seem to be paramount with the International collaborations on the album.
For example on “So Crazy” Lil Baby felt out of place on the song, his verse was weak and boring. Maybe any Afrobeat artist should reconsider using featuring or be specific on what he wants.
“Shopping Spree” was another song that failed to invoke any ‘wow moment’, it felt lacking in so many ways. In fact, the song sounded almost similar to “Tanana” (hint; do not listen to both songs in any particular order).
Young Thug and Chris Brown felt forced on the song but still way better than Lil Baby. Given that Davido and Chris Brown had worked on “Blow My Mind”, “Shopping Spree” was a disappointment.
“Birthday Cake” should have been the highlight of the album with the Legendary NAS and Hitboy on it but Davido’s entrance on it already kills whatever expectation one has.
This is mostly due to the beat as it seems far-fetched from what Davido is comfortable with.
For a Hip-Hop person such as NAS, The beat was okay as he tries to redeem the problem with his rap but it still wasn’t enough.
“Holy Ground” was the International Collaboration I enjoyed, the rest needed serious improvements.
The album also lacks cohesiveness. On “A Good Time”, the cover art had Davido, his daughters, fiancee, Chioma, his father, and his friends on it.
The songs on the album also managed to present what Davido was trying to tell his fans; that he was in a time where Family and friends were the reasons why he was having a good time apart from music.
In “A Better Time”, the Cover art is that of him and his son but the songs don’t seem to agree with what it’s supposed to mean, at least most don’t.
The songs’ arrangement feels like what you would see on a company’s graph chart; Mountains and Valleys in between.
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Is “A Better Time” better than “A Good Time” album? No!. While A Better Time manages to impress and create new emotions, it doesn’t come to its predecessor. Truthfully, a comparison is necessary.
While it has its lows, “A Better Time” does deliver on its promises to entice its listeners. The album carries its own weight in form of collaborations and sound.
It isn’t perfect but worth listening to. And with everything that has happened in 2020, we all do need a better time.