Our First Impressions of Adekunle Gold’s ‘Catch Me If You Can’
his most well-rounded effort to date
his most well-rounded effort to date
Adekunle Gold has always been transparent. In the seven-plus years since making his mark on Nigerian pop music, the singer has always made it a priority to convey who he is and where he’s at in his music, making him one of those superstars with a traceable, wholesome and awe-inspiring evolution trajectory.
In 2016, Adekunle Gold dropped ‘GOLD’, an acclaimed debut album with an overarching coming-of-age theme, and a vibrant, cohesive sonic board that honed in on his patented urban highlife sound. Just over a year later, About 30 expanded his musical and topical intentions, revelling in both the joys and struggles of becoming his own man, with a proselytising verve. Around the time of his sophomore, AG began sharing honest looks into his headspace, updates on the music he was working on, as well as heartfelt messages to fans who subscribed to his newsletter.
That level of openness was a refreshing gambit, and it set the tone for the self-assured pop star Adekunle Gold is these days. With his third album, 2020’s ‘Afro Pop, Vol. 1′, the singer delivered his most rounded effort yet, inhabiting an eclectic range of musical styles with charisma, and radiating the sort of impenetrable confidence that comes with being fully comfortable in your own skin.
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Being an album artist at heart, while still being very capable at turning out hot singles at a consistent clip, Adekunle Gold has mastered the full-length medium as a means of re-presenting himself to his listeners every few years. His new album, Catch Me If You Can, is preceded by a range of singles—the reflective “It is What it is,” the blue-eyed romance of “Sinner,” the rambunctious and groovy “High”—consolidate on AG’s convictions in the last few years, an exciting precedent by every measure. Below, The NATIVE’s editorial theme weigh in on our first impressions of the new album.
Chibuzo: It was super difficult to pick a best song, the LP boasts of a selection of stellar tracks but after a couple of listens I settled for ‘Catch Me If You Can’—The album’s closer. It most certainly isn’t the track that is going to do the most numbers but it’s arguably the most brilliant track on the project. From its opening it feels refreshing. The piano melody, the drums and bass riff combine to take me back to church. Special mentions include “Mercy”, “Sinner” and “High.”
Wonu: I have to be biased with this and still pick “High”, I mean what a gem of a song? There’s a lot of amazing tracks on this LP, from “More Than Enough” to “Sinner” but “High” was definitely one of the songs that did it for me last year so I have to go with that. Close second to this will be “Born Again” and this is based on the honest delivery and the palpable lyricism. This track is absolutely a brilliant opener.
Ada: Asides from the regular favourites like – “High” and “Sinner”, I’d say I heard other real bangers on this project. A few of them are “Dior Dior Dior”, “Mercy” and “More Than Enough”. These tracks are so good and really stood out to me more than the rest. I’m really blown away by Adekunle’s music.
Ada: Well it’s clear that Davido’s feature on “High” will always be legendary but that wasn’t the only feature that caught my attention. Steflon Don on “FYE” was fantastic and you always expect her to kill it. Fousheé’s voice has always been such a favourite of mine and hearing her on “Dior Dior Dior” made me love the song even more without a doubt.
Moore: While there are some truly great features on this album “Dior Dior Dior” featuring Foushée is a standout. Foushées smooth yet husky vocals immediately draw you in, as she gets the opening lines in the song. She helps set the chill tone for the song, which is perfect to start winding down the album as the 11th track.
Shina: Fatoumata Diawara on the intro song. it’s a perfect way to start the album and Fatoumata never ever fails to deliver with her sultry and smooth vocals adding the necessary support on the track with adlibs and backup. An honourable mention would be Foushee on “Dior Dior Dior”. Actually all the features on the album are good and well suited on each song they appear on.
Wonu: Well to me, the biggest skip is most likely “One Woman”. This track didn’t really do it for me and I think it’s because I was expecting so much more from TY Dolla sign. I mean I don’t hate the song or anything but it just won’t be my go to song and It certainly can’t be on my playlists.
Shina: This is very hard to pick because a lot of the songs on the album are good, but if i’m to pick i’ll go with “Mercy.”
Chibuzo: Definitely “Selah.” It’s not a bad song but it feels uninspired and repetitive. At the point where this track comes on, the project is begging for a stream of fresh air and this song fantastically fails to deliver that. Again, it’s not a bad song, it’s just underwhelming. The drum and piano due at the end is fire tho.
Chibuzo: “FYE” produced by RYMEZ and LEKAA. The beat is nothing short of magical. It’s clean and poignant, the melodies are supple and evocative. Listening to this song is like getting lost in a fantasy world. The producers understood the assignment and killed it.
Wonu: This is easily “Sinner” for me, the production on this track is so special, so smooth and so relaxing and the progression? Yes, “Sinner” is that one song that did it for me production wise. One thing I also noticed with this tape is the solid engineering of each track so shoutout to the Audio Engineer/Engineers that worked on this tape.
Joan: The production on “Sinner” would forever be a fave. Blaise Beats did a madness with the violin and drums, it’s too beautiful. The production on “Catch Me If You Can” comes close, you can never go wrong with trumpets in my opinion and the way the beat takes you on a high-low experience is just amazing.
Tami: Once again, AG Baby has moved the needle on his creative output. Where 2020’s ‘Afropop Vol. 1,’ saw him charting unfamiliar territory, bending and contorting genres to his will and taking sonic risks, ‘Catch Me If You Can,’ finds him relaxing into his new refined image, as he operates with an irresistible charisma that permeates off the music. It’s refreshing and replete with insular moments of gratification, from a man whose more than earned his stripes in the game. I’m excited to see how he continues to expand the world around this project in the coming weeks. AG Baby is truly our baby.
Dennis: Here’s the thing, I’m writing the review for this album and I’ve listened to the album a few times already. That’s not a flex, it’s just that I’d be lying if I said this is a first impression, and we don’t do lies at The NATIVE. I’ll say this, though: This is already a strong contender for album of the year. This is early in the year, but remember Burna Boy in 2018? I also want to say this is his best album yet, but I have light nostalgic bias for ‘GOLD’, so let’s just this is a phenomenal Adekunle Gold album.
Joan: It’s AG Baby, so obviously I’m extremely impressed. This project makes me want to light my candles, have my bottle of wine close, maybe have a man stare at my beauty and play it on full blast. The first track “Born Again” is such a great intro and prepares you for the rest of the magic. Loved it!
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