BY EMMANUEL DARALOYE
Benin City-born, D Prince and Don Jazzy nurtured Rema caught the world’s attention in 2019 with his self-named EP. A year prior, he had enchanted D Prince with his freestyle of Gucci Gang.
A link-up ensued, signature got scribbled on paper. After months of mentorship, Rema was unveiled to wild acclaim from music fans.
Girls fans over him, he became their crush. Two extended plays were added to Rema’s sonic list but a long play remains elusive.
Three days ago, Rema churned out his debut album ‘Rave and Roses‘, belatedly, but the fans care less.
They wanted a full-length like his compatriots Fireboy and Joeboy.
One of the latter’s albums comes up in the post-2010 classic album conversation.
The biographical ‘Divine’ opens the play.
Over bright strings, Rema goes on to tell a detailed story about his birth. It’s a personal and menacing cruise. Rema, in a sort of way, eases the fans into the album as Divine flows into the 6lack-assisted ‘Hold Me’.
London had input in nine out of the sixteen tracks on this album while Rema deliberately restricted the collaboration to just four tracks. The tracklisting effortlessly projects his solo joint more; this is a smart move.
Plopping ‘Calm Down’ between the horn-centered ‘Dirty’, early single ‘Soundgasm’ and the Chris Brown-backed ‘Time N Affection’ intentionally suppress the tedium of the tracks. They are distant cousins.
Jo is a mouthful reincarnation of Wizkid’s ‘Blow’ featuring Blaq Jer Zee.
‘Are You There’ is one of the outliers on this album. It’s didactic, jangly, fun-filled, and hippy.
Rema name-checks Buhari (Muhammadu) while celebrating the tenacity of Nigerians amid life’s unending challenges.
‘FYN’ is steeped in vain talk. AJ Tracey comes through with his alloyed rap verse.
Oroma is a fine piece-together track that pays homage to dancehall and Ajegunle skoto.
‘Carry’ is a whirlwind of energy and neat production twists with ‘Ikebe’ serving as inspiration, a typical Rema trope.
‘Wine’ and ‘Runaway’ bring the album to a close. The latter sounds fresh and tends to aid the replay value.
Beyond a few sparse fillers, Rema’s ‘Rave and Rose’ is a neat take on love, sex, and everything in between.
The production and his enchanting hooks give it an edge over others.
Does it meet the hype? No, nevertheless, it ain’t a bad album.
In some ways, ‘Rave and Roses’ posit Rema as a single guy rather than a dude who can comfortably craft an album that would stand the test of time.
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