Mango - Sir Bastien (Pre Release Album Review)
By Tobi Ojo
25th August, 2019
25th August, 2019
If you've never heard of Sir Bastien, this serves as an Introduction. If you bump his music on a daily, this presents a perspective. One thing is for sure, this track-by-track analysis gives you a pathway to his world.
1. Care - A solo effort where spoken words meet serenades. The vocal texture & pitches are ideal for the message passed (professing love in an emotionally balanced manner). A good way to kickstart the project.
2. From Me (with Jaya & Keenah) - The repetitive ballad, "what do you want from me" gets stuck on your mind and lips. You sense the occasional off-key moments of Sir Bastien but quickly forget about it when you listen sternly to the lyrics & the vocal prowess of his features.
3. Take You There (with Eri Ife & Lectrik) - The pace of the project picks up here, the production crisper, the mastering finer. A kind of song you vibe to with your lover whilst cruising on a cool Sunday evening in the GRAs. The three artists paint the perfect mural here: one of undeniable affection.
4. Coffee Machine (with DAP The Contract & Bio) - Do you love Narcos? Do you like the Latino vibe fused with African synths & percussion? What I'm trying to say is, do you like guitar chords garnished with rap, rhymes & rhythm? A song you can't put in a box! A novel idea! An orgasmic sonic experience! The question is, "do you love music?". Give a listen & dissect the lovely rendition.
5. X Marks The Spot (with Jinmi Abduls) - What is a project without highlife feel? It takes you on the journey of finding "X". The valued "X". The vocal blend of both artists gets you yearning for more collaborations. All verses shoots at the topic sentence. It's a dart game, aiming for the bullseye! He sings, "sinking into the ocean, this emptiness in my chest......"
6. Scars (with AYLØ) - This AYLØ assisted track shows vulnerability, honesty & undying love towards a beauty. They do well to lay the emotions bare regardless of ego. No words were minced, no feelings held back. This track is for true love, daring even in hard times. A kind of non possessive affection urging your love to let the scars show (even when others choose to hide it).
7. As We Dance (with Ilaye) - One of the longest tracks in the project. If you have a thing for the Soul genre, you wouldn't be bored. If you don't, you may want to skip. Ilaye owned the track to be honest but, it's expected as she is basking in the ambience of her niche. It's a duet with both artists sonorously singing "I fall deeper...."
8. Wait - Finally, Sir Bastien decides to give a no-feature track a shot again and he kills it! It is well placed in the tracklist, rather short but, enjoyable nonetheless. You have to give it up for the instrumentals as the breaks are strategic, progression professional & pitch suiting. He does not have to try so hard to impress, as all the lines are falling in pleasant place for the track. It speaks about waiting, calling your sweetheart without considering the option of giving up.
9. Jaguar - A bonus track to give the exit note to all those who followed the project chronologically. An ode to Jaguar. Is it the cat? Is it the exotic car? Is it your runaway love? That's what mastery of poetry does: present a concept and leave you to find the interpretation that suits you.
Mango is a collection of well crafted songs with many highs and few lows. The artistry of Sir Bastien definitely got finessed on this. He shows continual improvement, wits, fluidity & ability to have honest conversations. The A&R on this is impressive (you have to give it up to the team).
Is this the best Alté project in 2019? Will people keep jumping and bumping to the Alté movement? What does Alté offer other than criticism? Will Alté kick out mainstream Afrobeats? This project answers all these questions.
Lyrics - 15/20
Tracklisting - 16/20
Production - 14/20
Cadence - 15/20
A&R - 17/20