ALBUM REVIEW: Brymo is versatile, unique in ‘Theta’
‘Theta’ is Brymo’s third major project in barely a year. In 2021, he came through with ‘Harmattan and Winter’ as well as ‘Esan’, his eighth and ninth albums respectively which had no special guest appearance.
Brymo had described ‘Theta’ as “a study of humanity’s struggles – and a view into what it might have been”.
The 10-track project which has no features — like ‘Esan’ and ‘Harmattan and Winter’ — starts with the track ‘Illusions’.
In ‘Illusions’, Brymo takes his time to create that sonic feel right from the beginning. His constant use of Pidgin English helps to pass across his message faster and more deeply.
‘Illusions’ warns people against embarking on adventures and tasks generally without considering what happened to those who tried it before them.
“My brother no go oh. The people them wey go river never return oh, dem say na mami water, Carry everybody go oh, For full moon, papa go farm he never return oh. Them say na the forest carry am swallow oh,” he sings.
The uniqueness of the track is the folk-like tone underneath it that makes you want to lie quietly on your bed and listen to understand the message the singer is trying to pass across.
‘Pim Pim’ follows the same mellow path as ‘Illusions’ but it sheds light on doing what your heart says you should do instead of listening to every piece of advice that sounds your way.
“No listen pim pim, Deliberate work dey pay listen, Follow your heart, e no easy, Life not harder, oduimi,” Brymo sings.
The Afrobeats-themed ‘Dem No Born Us Together’ starts on a much different note as Fela’s influence is quite evident on the track. It appears Brymo draws inspiration from Fela Kuti who is regarded as the father of Afrobeats and sings with a certain flow and energy that is identical to the vocal style of the late music icon.
The track speaks about understanding how your path and journey are different from that of another person.
‘My way nah way, Your own nah your own oh, Naso e dey, Reach where we dey today so, Everybody dey try-try, We dey catch feelings, we dey cry-cry, Life e sweet if you smart, thrive, You do better things, you go thrive-thrive,” he sings.
There is that afro-alte feel he adopts on most of these tracks. The personality he portrays in this entire piece is apt. Love is something everybody sings about, but when Brymo jumps on it, he definitely gives a different tone and direction and this is what plays out on the track ‘Love Na Drug’.
While the album still consists of tracks like: ‘Money Good’, ‘Life day Go On’, ‘Tomorrow’, ‘Oga’, ‘Market Square,’ and ‘For You’, the messages they try to pass across are all just as their titles.
‘Oga’ is an indicator of Brymo’s inability to conform to what is expected from a typical African artiste as he delves into unconventional metal rock.
‘Master Square’ is another folky song and the ninth song on the album. It is at best a satirical song that makes a mockery of humanity’s ability to discern the jokes of Karma with lines like “to hold a person down, you go stay down to make sure”.
‘For You’ marks the curtain fall to a wonderful sonic journey of thirty-five minutes as the ballad is a sweet ending to a well-told collection of fiction and folk.
One trait Brymo adopts on ‘Theta’ is the direct meaning of the title of each track. There is no personification or allusion here, he goes direct and hard and unlike his other album which is usually infused with the Yoruba language.
The project is also Brymo’s only album wherein he used Pidgin English to communicate in all the tracks.
‘Theta’ is a great piece and is the total definition of what Brymo can do. It’s an amazing fact that he has maintained his style and music direction over the years and he keeps setting the pace for young stars.
Theta gets a 7/10.
The artiste, whose album Esan (9) received widespread accolades, won the award for ‘Best Recording of the Year’ at the 14th edition of the Headies awards.
The project also snagged six nominations for the 15th edition of the awards.
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