Brymo’s second release, “Merchants, Dealers & Slaves” was a triumph for what afro beat was originally intended to be. And now there is Tabula Rasa, which I believe is much more than what has become expected of today’s African albums. It is in infusion of afro beat, jazz, and RnB. After listening to yet another masterpiece by Brymo, I came to a conclusion that he can be counted among the true vocalists of our time. Writing this review has been somewhat difficult because he happens to be my favorite Nigerian artist, so I will try not to come off as biased as possible.
From the opening “Back To Love,” you realize how Brymo is going to take you into a view of his life with no pressures from a corporate producer interfering with the honesty. The album jumps into clever jumps of samples on “Fe Mi“, which is a song you listen to it and think “Yea, this is totally Brymo!” to give you a bit for your palette to know what is yet to come.
One of the best songs on this album is track 9: 1 Pound. The instrumental arrangement is done well, making it a pleasing listening experience.
Brymo – 1 Pound
Track 3 “Prick No Get Shoulder” is just as sunny and bright as the title suggests. Brymo reminds us that the “just the tip in” method does not work… at all. So, when you decide to have sex, be careful.
Another notable track is “Nothing’s Ever Promised Tomorrow”, a feel-good song that anyone can vibe to. I love this track because it is filled with strings and brass interlaced with timeless beats and unforgettable lines.
I also found out that Tabula Rasa is currently one of the top selling albums on iTunes Nigeria. Shocking? I think not. With little to no publicity, I had to give lots of props to Brymo for this album, especially after listening to track 7 “Alone”. I guess it’s not so rare for an art singer like him to not only sing but also blow my mind away with spoken words. I found myself snapping my fingers when he said these soul-baring, life-defining words:
“How come I walk alone on a busy street, I see a pretty girl walk past on beautiful feet. Just when I am about to speak, I realize we want one same different thing. I pray, God, I want to be a man. It’s clear she wants a man, but I am not clear if that’s the man that I am, so I act like I do not care, neither of us nigh our hopes and dreams…” and then “I gotta be alone, cause even when I am with you, I still feel alone…” and then “Poetry, my only companion is why I keep keeping on, none stopping, keeping on, rom dusk till dawn, on and on and on.”
There is a sadness surrounding this track and it happens to be one of my favorite tracks. He truly poured his heart and soul out in this piece.
His songs may not focus as much on partying, women, and drinking, but as times change so does music. He is still having fun, whether singing a ballad, doing spoken words, or just letting everyone know how much ass he kicks.
So, that’s the story, folks. There’s much more to be told, but I think this is good enough. You will also agree with me that Tabula Rasa is worth your time and your love. So, hopefully, this helps you make a decision about getting the album … if you haven’t.