Since he sneaked up on us early in 2019 with his sleeper hit turned smash hit “Baby”, Joeboy has not looked back. He dropped an EP that same year after two other singles. He did not open his 2020 with a bang and to be honest, no act opened 2020 with a bang. He did have a hit collabo with “Nobody” to close the year with a few good moderate hits here and with the momentum from those, he has now dropped what looks like the first major release of the year 2021. The album, Somewhere Between Beauty & Magic, was hinted at early in January and Joeboy duly dropped it on the morning of the 4th of February.
To be honest, the thought of a Joeboy album almost always speaks for itself. The guy’s brand especially big on mushy, lovey-dovey vibes and that has helped hold down his own fans from here to East Africa. I had any expectations before, this did not surprise too much. This right here is a review of the body of the work.
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Count Me Out is an appropriate intro to what this album may be about. The theme which is self-confidence is reminiscent of the artiste himself, who seems to be very at home with where he is in career and grateful nonetheless. Joeboy goes off on his usual love themed trajectory in Focus. It is on this song that he sets a strong tone for this whole album. The song employs a visualizer which has become something of a trademark since his break-out and the production is especially outstanding. Number One follows roughly the same pattern as the previous track. Decent but not especially outstanding. Police is an interesting title for a love song and I honestly was fooled into thinking it would be anything else. Alas, Joeboy shocks me and yet does not shock me at the same time.
Door is a fine track and is really down to the stellar production that takes the tempo of the whole down a notch. The visualizer trope gets me every time. Show Me is a typical Joeboy single and you probably know what I mean by that. Runaway does not do much to grab attention, not that that it is a bad song. Far from it. It is rather…regular.
Lonely is the second single from this and the fact that the engineers and producers placed it this far into the album shows how deliberate Joeboy was about showing yet unknown aspect of his act. On Consent he explores a new theme that was literally what the title suggested. He croons over an Amapiano-infused afro-pop instrumental to how consent is important and goes on to ask for consent from his love interest. This track is not lyrically heavy but it will get you moving nonetheless. I am not particularly sure the beat is consistent with the message but then this is Nigeria.
I like Oshe and I think this is one a lot of his fans will enjoy. It is typical Joeboy but with a little something extra. Can’t quite put a finger on it. The melody is on a different. OH is a feel-good vibe conducive for the party atmosphere. Trouble is there is a pandemic!!!
Sugar Mummy is a story by itself and Joeboy shows how much a good songwriter he is. It is the kind of song that will do well as a single by itself. The theme is very mature and narration is largely on point. Better Things is another narration and subtle reference to his own come-up story and it is a solid vibe all by itself. Celebration is the lead single and you can tell that it is the last song on the album speaks as to how deliberate Joeboy’s management was keen to amplify other songs and different sides to this artiste.
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Joeboy promised different aspects when he was doing media rounds to promote this album and if one is to judge his work on the front, I would not score this bodywork too highly. The album is ridiculously short in span as its running time is only 34 minutes and 12 seconds in total. At this point, one can say it is a trademark and deliberate move on his management’s part to fit Joeboy’s content into the short attention span of the average internet-based music audience. This album does not necessarily show depth as Joeboy promises beforehand but it shows that the boy is many things, no slouch when it comes to singing and songwriting.
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