RAPID REVIEWS: OMAWUMI’S LASSO OF TRUTH, IYANYA’S DESIRE
Editor’s Note: This appeared in Abuja’s Metropole Magazine Issue 04
At this time with female musicians hovering with short ephemeral singles or irrelevant music, the baton has been handed to Omawumi. On her sophomore, Lasso of Truth– her debut was Wonder Woman, and the reference to DC Comics’ female superhero continues- she appears to have confused the baton for an oversized lollipop, indulging her voice and often prancing on the tracks licking absentmindedly instead of running with it.
Though pleasant, the novelty of album opener If You Ask Me is gone. She famously explored an illicit pregnancy comically on the song and the album continues to address Themes: Africa is praised on The African Way, she gives her offspring advice on The Best You Can Be with overt echoes of Avril Lavigne’s I’m With You, discusses politics on What A Bang Bang which almost reduces Tuface to a backup singer, and urges everyone to take life easy on the impressive, mellow Jeje Laiye which has the appeal of restraining her earthy voice. The reggae tune I Go Go is another highlight and she’s completely believable when she sings, “I may be liking the way you liking me…but you no go fit to contain me” amping the sass on the entertaining Warn Yourself with a verse from Wizkid who gets to play his age and then put in his place: “You wan climb tree when old men dey point from afar/take your time o”.
Although Lasso of Truth is uneven, it has the advantage of compactness- at 45mins it is of ideal length. Lasso may have approached the sublime if Omawumi had realized the significance of what she has been handed and didn’t waste time sucking on that darn baton.
Same cannot be said of the sophomore effort from another talent-show-alumnus, Iyanya, who has no illusions and names his album Desire proceeding to give an entire album of dance tracks with often crass lyrics. Iyanya sticks to the lyric sheet and whatever break from dance monotony on the album is down to the flexibility of the producers, D’Tunes- who produced all three released singles- being the most prominent.
In the middle of the relentless cacophony Desire has a roughly 7-minute oasis comprising I Gat It and Somebody- the latter features Tiwa Savage delivering a verse with breathy vocals caressing rather than attacking the makossa beat so the song recreates a leisurely mating ritual- he suasive, persuasive; she pliant, complaisant; both radiant. It offers a glimpse of what might have been if Kukere and Ur Waist weren’t so commercially successful.