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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Album Review: Yemi Alade's “Mama Afrique” E.P

Yemi Alade's "Mama Afrique" E.P. cover artwork
Yemi Alade's "Mama Afrique" E.P. cover artwork

EP: Mama Afrique

Artist: Yemi Alade

Genre: Afropop

Release: June 30

Three years ago, when Johnny was the perfect reply to Wizkid's Caro, Yemi Eberechi Alade became the modern paragon of female, Afropop ingenuity. With her undying effort to dominate the pop radio playlists across Africa, Yemi has become a favourite and probably the most listened to and watched artiste we have around.

The Nigerian singer and songwriter doesn't really sound like anyone but herself. She can sound supernaturally powerful and doesn't limit herself to what she knows. She wants to reach markets far and beyond and will do whatever she can to ensure that her fan base grows.

As a sequel to her 2016 album release "Mama Africa", Yemi has put together a cohesive EP that continues to connect the continent to the world. She offers nothing new, but mostly new versions of tracks from her 2016 release.

The EP kicks off with a Ricii Lompeurs remix of her 2016 hit Want You. Yemi's voice in the track "Charlie" shares some of Jojo Abot's finesse.

Throughout the effort, she changes characters by adjusting her vocal delivery. In her attempt to bring together the world and reach newer markets, she addresses the issue of language barrier by delivering French versions of her previously released hits, which include Ferrari, Na Gode and Africa.

All of her tracks are fit, but Nakupenda's three versions are spectacular. Yemi has done a French, Portuguese as well as a brilliant Kiswahili version, featuring Kenyan rapper and singer Nyashinki. The EP closes with a club-destined, party jam, Go Down, which will definitely get her fans on their feet.

To her credit, Yemi's sound is more consistent and tasteful here than it has ever been. Leave it to her to switch languages and make an old song sound as good as its original version. She perfected the art and the outcome is simply arresting.

The result here is a fun project that doesn't require any rigorous attention. At the end of 36 minutes, you will certainly want to have the album play on repeat.

Star rating: 3.5 out 5

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