REVIEW: Tiwa Savage – Once Upon a Time


RELEASE DATE: 07/03/2013

1. Once Upon a Time – Good intro. Just like the title of the album, sounded just like when you watching one of those cartoon fairy tales.Kinda cute i like it. Nothing to rate really, but a good way to start an album.

2. Wanted 8/10 – I like this song! Has this reggae feel to it but you cant really call it a reggae song because it has all other types of feel to it too. The beat was steady, Tiwa didn’t carry last on this one.

3. Ileke 7/10 – Beat was good but i feel like there were some irregularities with this one. First the song didn’t have a lot of content, there was a lot of repetition and the melody wasn’t just clicking for me. Not the kind of beat that suits Tiwa if you ask me; Beat had Iyanya written all over it (Reminds me of Ekaette by Iyanya).

4. Middle Passage 8/10 – Unique song i must say, it reminded me of Asa. Pretty Mellow, no noise, this is something you can listen to when you are finding it hard to sleep and before you know it you are gone, thats how peaceful it sounded. I like the traditional feel to it, the konga drums and co. Good song.

5. Olorun Mi 10/10 – This is the R&B part of Tiwa that made me a fan from the very start. The concept of the song was to remember the good people that have died and with the way she handled her vocals, you will be moved, it really touched me. If you have lost a loved one, you will surely relate to this one faster. Pitch was right, Tempo was on point. This is one of my favorite songs off the album i must say. The video even gave the song more meaning.

6. Why Don’t You Love Me 8/10 – Something you will hear at a White Boys/Girls Party. It had that slight Techno feel to it. A different side of Tiwa that people that are not Nigerians can also relate to. She stepped into a different zone that we are not used to seeing her in and she did good.

7. Fela Interlude 8/10 – Brilliant. A short acapella cover over Fela’s song “Lady.” I wish it was longer. Her voice just stood out.

8. Love Me Love Me Love Me 9.5/10 – I believe we all know this song. A dance song that suits the regular Nigerian scene. The people like melody and she gave them what they wanted. I noticed women like this song not just for the melody but for the romantic content too. She put her good voice to use one, towards the end she did some wonders. It’s a song you will always move to every time you hear it. Something you can groove to with your boo if you have one, even better, something you can bump at a wedding reception. I love it. I’m happy DJs didn’t sleep on this tune.

9. Eminado ft Don Jazzy 8.5/10 – First let me say, I have always admired the support that Don Jazzy gives as a backup singer, to the the likes of Wande Coal, D’Prince even D’banj back then. The way he came in with the intro was too sweet. The hook is sweet, another melodious love song, the beat suits her. Went straight to my playlist the first time i heard it.

10. Folarin 7/10 – Spellz on the beat for this one. When the song first dropped, i wasnt sure how i felt about it, but then after a few replays, i was bumping it. I have come to conclude that it’s a lovely song but at the same time nothing spectacular about it.

11. Oh Yeah ft Don Jazzy 7/10 – The hook of this song and the beat is why i like it to be honest. Again, a dance song that is not meant for only the Nigeria scene. Decent party starter

12. Shoutout ft Sarkodie & Iceberg Slim 8.5/10 – Good decision to put rappers on this one, good choice of rappers too. It’s that feel good music. Iceberg’s lines were decent, just what i expected from him on such a soft jolly song. I’m also happy Sarkodie didn’t do the regular super fast “hfgtsgvsgdfdhsfstevsg” lines, he actually dropped some understandable lines at a steady speed. We have seen songs like this that the featured rappers drop lines that have nothing to do with the song but both guys’lines were actually relevant to the concept of the song. Tiwa Savage didn’t carry last on her song either. Nice joint.

13. Written All Over You 8/10

14. Get Low 9.5/10 – Another pure R&B song. Just like the title of the song, it’s perfect for getting *coughs* down, the mood setter, this is some baby making music, it’s already in my baby making music playlist lol. On a more serious note, with the right speakers, the unique and steady bass of this song is powerful. She didnt let the bass overshadow her ability to deliver, her soft voice stood out once again. I will be playing this song again and again lol

15. Ife Wa Gbona ft Leo Wonder 10/10 – Beautiful love song! Leo Wonder was the right guy for this song, his voice was just perfect. The hook was powerful! This is another lovely wedding song, something for lovers. If you got a boo, this is the song to bump, your head go swell. If you don’t have a boo, this will make you wish you had one. The traditional gangan drums and the bass guitar playing in the baseline was perfect. The video was also creative, so cute, so sweet.

16. Eji Ma Fia 8.5/10 – I didn’t know what Eji Ma Fia meant till i asked my friend and he said it means “I’m going shopping/I dey go market” This a tune, a very good dance song with meaningful content. DJs should not sleep on this one, potential hit if pushed well. Putting Chi Gurl at the end of the song singing too is funny.

17. Baby Mo ft Flavour 9/10 – Another melodious piece for lovers. You know what it is when you see Flavour on a song. He added a distinct indigenous feel to this joint to make it best of both worlds, perfect for any happy occassion. They both make a good team i must say. I would love to see both of them on more songs. Shoutout to Del-B for such a good beat.

18. Stand As One ft General Pype 9/10 – Another song i can call my favorite on the album. Spellz’s beat was just right for someone like General Pype who did his thing, i really like his verses. Good Music with a good motivational message, use good earphones and you will really enjoy this song.

19. Thank You 8/10

20. Without My Heart 8/10 – 3 words, Freaky Lirru Flet. When i first heard this song, I was surprised when Don Jazzy actually handled a verse by himself as opposed to acting as a backup singer that he’s used to. Lol he is not the best singer out there and at the same time his verse wasn’t bad at all. The regular Tiwa Savage came through as usual.

21. Kele Kele 8/10

This is job well done. I believe that a job well done should be duely appreciated. Tiwa Savage deserves every credit for the work she put on this album. She really surprised me with this one. Don Jazzy, Spellz, Gospel, Del-B, Sossick and every producer on this project deserves due credit for the top notch productions too, they were all outstanding. Tiwa showed her versatility by working with different artistes from different genres, from rap to high life, to reggae to R&B like herself. The features were perfect. I expected the big dawgs on this album, the likes of 2face, M.I, Wizkid, Wande Coal, Waje, P-Square, and so on. With the minimum help possible, she still managed to pull it off. I’m sure a lot of people will agree with me when i say most female artistes haven’t really stepped up to their male counterparts, maybe because it’s alot more guys in the industry. But i’m proud to say Tiwa stepped up with this album. You can tell she took her time, didn’t rush, and she released it at the right time even with all the pressure on her from every angle. Without any doubt in my mind, this is my favorite album for 2013 so far. 21 tracks filled with good music.

Download Album Here

-Ronke Adepoju