Artiste – Banky W
Album – R&BW
Features – Camp Mulla, eLDee, Sarkodie , Sammy, Shaydee, Skales, Lynxxx, Niyola, M.I, 2Face Idibia, Rotimi & Vector.
Producers – Banky W, Cohbams Asuquo, Masterkraft, M.I, Spellz, Sarz & Samklef.
Label – Empire Mates Entertainment (2013)
We often forget that Banky W is not a toddler in this business with mega two studio albums under his belt excluding his most recent LP; this mister is a full grown man. Diluting ‘The W Experience’ and ‘Mr. Capable’ in the playlist of faithful fans is the genre-defining ‘R&BW’; which will catapult the singer with a large hat collection to the fore-front of the race of the ‘King of Afro-R&B’, as he has almost perfected the art of fusing contemporary rhythm and blues with afro beats/music. Boasted to be a genre of its own, this review will give you an insight into the genre, so should I say album ‘R&BW’:
- The Way: The way an album is introduced to listeners’ matters a lot and Banky opens in a grand style with the groovy mid-tempo ‘The Way’. Packed with classic Banky W vocal and lyrical styling, the number setting the pace for the line-up of ‘R&BW’ numbers that follow.
- Good Good Loving: Producer Spellz jazzes things up with his drums, trumpets, piano etc. on the second track. Banky W delivers with the swag of a smooth gentleman as he sings the infectious chorus and addictive bridge; ‘Good Good Loving’ one of my favourites on the LP simply because it has all the element of a “single material” but stays true to the art.
- Magic (feat. Skales): Arguably Skales best guest-appearance to date is the R&BW magician’s ‘Magic’. Banky W and label-mate are under the spell of the lady magician and they bless us with a magical rap-sung, on which they complement each other.
- Find You: Finding love is a hard task but with this number, Banky will definitely find and keep it. Already a favourite among fans and critics, ‘Find You’ is arguably an epic afro-love ballad which revolves around the quest to find love ticking all the right boxes from stellar production to convincing vocals to stirring lyrics. This track if giving the single treatment will definitely cause a serious uproar, might even be the Banky’s next ‘Strong Thing’.
- Yes/No: Although released after the baby maker ‘Low Key’, the Cohbams Asquo produced ‘Yes/No’ became ‘R&BW’s’ lead single shocking fans who preferred both ‘Good Good Loving’ and ‘Low Key’ to the mid-tempo romantic cut. The song centres on the question ‘Would you be my lover?’ Despite the answer suggesting undecidedness; it is the melody and of the wood-wind instrument played in the beat and the slang in the lyrics that sealed ‘this’ a winner.
- Low Key: We are not sure if ‘Low Key’ in this subject means keeping the relationship on the down low or a way of hiding sexual intentions nonetheless we are tagging this a ‘certified baby maker’. R&B is primarily sex music maybe that it why Banky W employed a very soft and sensual tone as he sings lyrics like; ‘Na the way you dey do me’, and ‘We can do it night, don’t care if they don’t like it’.
- Do It To Me: Another suggestive title but a different tempo as the E.M.E boss switches things up and tells his love interest to ‘Do It To Me’. Prepare to ‘wine your waist to the bass line’, as Banky dishes a up-tempo dance feast.
- Be My Lover (Yes/No Part II) Ft. Niyola: For the remix to the smash hit ‘Yes/No’, Banky W abandons Cohbams Asquo and recruits producer ‘Masterkraft’ and label-mate and singer Niyola to assist him. Thankfully the end-product is very rich, showing the high-life influence of the producer on the track and the singers cruise on the groovy beat with their soft vocals. Niyola is the perfect female to duet with Banky W because together they sound like sex to the ears due to their near similar vocal textures and it helps that she does not out sing Banky W.
- Say (feat. Sammy, Shaydee & Rotimi): The E.M.E duo (Banky W and Shaydee) breaks bread with outsiders ‘Sammy’ and fast rising R&B crooner ‘Rotimi’ as 4 strong R&B voices team up for ‘Say’. Stellar vocals, mind-blowing harmonies making one whet for more songs of the nature; lovers of R&B will have this on loop.
- Past My Past (feat. Shaydee): The past always comes to haunt us but Banky W and his wing-man urges her to past his past and he will love her till the end. Bitter about his roller-coaster past, the crooners’ bears it all on a moody instrumentation and flexes their vocals chords while at it. Kudos to Shaydee for those riffs and runs.
- To My Unborn Child (feat. Lynxxx): Classic! Epic! Brilliant! These are song of the words that can be used to describe the 11th number. Banky W sits on the driver’s seat and Lynxxx by his side they write a moving letter to their unborn child. Fitting into the story of the album which built up to this point, where the singer might be expecting a baby from the enchantress on ‘Magic’, still in 4minutes and 36 seconds they deliver the arguably BEST track on the album. This song is a proof that Banky W a good “storyteller” and is amazing at what he does.
- African & Proud (feat. Sarkodie, L-Tido, Camp Mulla & Vector): An international super-star collaboration as Banky W reaches outside the shores of Nigeria to enlist Sarkodie, L-Tido and Camp Mulla to join himself and Vector as they declare the obvious on the anthemic, ‘African & Proud’. All the parties involved delivered on the heavy organic instrumentation.
- Never Let You Go: One of the up-tempo songs on the LP is the dance cut ‘Never Let You Go’. Strangely it is bears some strikingly similarities to the eLDee and Wizkid ‘Never Let You Go’…. Hmmmmm!
- Good Good Loving (feat. 2face Idibia): Although we prefer the original, it is a pretty good remix and 2Face spices things up with his memorable verse.
- More (feat. M.I & eLDee): Without a doubt the weakness link; the title is a mirage, it won’t make you ask for more. Decent but seems out of place in the album but M.I and eLDee pull through.
- Mercy: Ending ‘R&BW’ on a spiritual note is ‘Mercy’. Banky W is a leader and reverses a standing ovation for this offering… God bless you for taking us to church. ‘Mercy’ has everything to look for in good gospel number, sadly a choir did not surface, add a choir and you might end up speaking in tongues.
R&BW IS A-MAA-ZINNG!!!
Reviewed by Ogaga Sakpaide [ @Ogagus ]