Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Album Review: Burna Boy - Twice As Tall

Burna Boy
Twice As Tall
**and1/2 out of *****

Following up quickly on 2019's impressive African Giant, Burna Boy returns with his follow up full length Twice As Tall, a more stripped down somber affair that still manages to mix his Afro beat styles with EDM, R&B, Hip-Hop, Pop and more, but can't reach it's successors heights.  

"Level Up" opens the album on a minimalist front as Burna Boy recounts losing out at the Grammy's then pushes his personal pain to a more worldly level with the help of Youssou N'Dour who is the first of many A-list collaborators onboard.  Executive producer Diddy comes on next to claim we are all one on the most interesting effort "Alarm Clock" which displays disengaged sax and a great beat but unfortunately ends too soon. 
The upbeat bounce displayed during the trio of "Wonderful", "Oneyka" and "Comma" feels like it is being restrained from fully flourishing but definitely puts some pep in the creative step with the quirky and catchy tunes. Even better is the sly mix of "Naughty By Nature" featuring the hip hop group themselves as Burna's tribute to the New Jersey legends who he listened to his whole life and dreamed of collaborating with.  

From there things take a different turn though from the sparse beats and piano of "23" a run of downward looking tracks until dour closer "Bank On It" wraps up the album on a reflective note. The run of songs saps the overall album of energy as the artist sounds isolated even among the collaborators including Sauti Sol for "Time Flies" and Stormzy on "Real Life".

The song that sums up this record is "Monsters You Made", a track that has all the ingredients to be a world wide smash; powerful lyrics, a restrained Michael Jackson inspired beat and Chris Martin from Coldplay delivering the hook, yet the song never fully gels into something transcendent or even all that memorable.  

Burna's Boy total disregard for genre's and mixing of styles always remains interesting even when the overall effort is restrained, minimalist and a touch depressed. Twice As Tall is a reflective album weighted down a bit by success and a goal of raising up all who hear him.   
Support the artist, buy the album peep some video below:

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