Review: Twice as Tall by Burna Boy

Yusuf Sanni
4.9

13 months on after his last album and the African Giant has never been this complete with melodies, hooks, and intricate arrangements, on Twice As Tall, Burna Boy completes the final phase of introducing the world to African Music, allowing third parties to settle to the diversity of his records.

Executive produced by Sean “Diddy” Combs, the 15 songs-project runs through 53 minutes of series of musical transitions, Dabbling between revolutionary sounds, minimal legworks unlike his previous works, and quality production touched by both continent’s young and experienced producers.  “Level Up” sees Burna Reminiscing about his come-up, featuring Senegal’s finest vocalist and former minister of Tourism Youssou N’Dour who touches the song with the Mbalax genre which has defined Senegambian culture all these years. “Alarm Clock” is peak Burna, more like an expanding-energy tapped from the final mixing of African Giants, on fronted trumpet sounds, dark humming, and heavy African drums, that sounds like they were beaten by African ancestors, the Grammy-nominated artiste sounds energized, ready to attack the day, tailoring his heavy vocals on the short song, before it transitions to “Way too big”, a modernized production steered by long time friend/producer Leriq.

After missing out on this year’s Grammys, the Nigerian clearly seeks another shot at the most prestigious awards shows in the musical world, elevating every aspect of his recording skills, “Bebo” is one pure example, a mid-tempo producible song, Burna Channels his Native language all over a Rexxie beat. Behind the scenes, one-act that has the wheel off this album is Nigerian’s finest producer Telz, with five production credits, his fleet-footed production skills is viable throughout many styles and moods on the album, lead single “Wonderful” is a perfect example, whiles “Onyeka” Channels Burna’s love side, appreciating his lover on pieces of African sounds, all orchestrated by Telz. Safe to say Telz has a good run on the project, extending to “Naughty By Nature” which features New Jersey’s hip hop Trio Naughty by nature, on a vibey beat, they paint the song with their 80’s East coast vibes, bringing patches of hip hop’s history to the project. Waiting on that “killing them” type of Burna boy? Say no more, “Comma” sounds like a jam Poco Lee and Nigeria’s athletic dancers will dribble their legs with,  its that Burna that has clubs shutting down last December!

As good as the album is halfway through listening, one thing is missing, the handy-craft of Kel-p, however, the return of Leriq makes us not miss Kel-p that much, and “No fit Vex” is pure proof, it’s that sprout so Burna, holding his own and laying Lagos streets codes all over his verses, he switches up and get extra melodic on “23”, admiring the power of music and how far it has brought him. One thing Burna boy didn’t miss on this project, is the selection of features. Sauti Soul is relentless yet relaxing on “Time Flies”  and Coldplay’s frontman Chris Martin still sounds Young, refreshing, and ready to join Burna boy on a revolution on “Monsters You Made”, with pieces of pop elements, making the album an international cuisine for all. He brings back the journey to his roots “Wettin Dey Sup”, which Is a pidgin Anthem that breathes lots of Lagos culture, from the production by Telz to the language, its core Port Harcourt style, with backing trumpet sounds that give it that edging tone.

If anyone was going to add that realism to “Real Life”, it’s no other than UK’s Stormzy, who croons on the song with heart-hitting experience and the themes of life. He rounds the project off with “Banks on it”, a mood type of song, kicking off with a slow tempo before elevating to a mid-tempo, produced by Jae5, it’s undoubtedly the smoothest song on the project, Burna boy is calm, he sounds accomplished, ready to round off a well-rafted project, with a gospel-like choir, his voice is elevated and sweetened with soft voices, rounding off a well-reached destination; serenity.

Filled with ruthlessly efficient grooves, Twice aS Tall is the African Giant growing in aspects of his career that were overlooked on his previous album, from commanding production to spear-heading vocals, this might be his most assured work yet, taking the world to a tour from the insights of Africa.

4.9

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