Review: ‘Mirage’ by Mannywellz

4.3

On Mannywellz’s third project release titled Mirage, the Nigerian singer shares with us everything he is about. From catchy hooks, infectious productions to standout vocals and heartfelt lyrics, Mannywellz creates a sound laced with unexpected action, love and every other vulnerable emotion that lives peacefully on the softened productions.

Majority of the production was handled by the songwriter/artiste himself. Songs like “Peace”, featuring Nigeria’s upcoming vocal queen Tems on sweetened heavy bass guitar chords showcase Manny’s ability to create richly balanced tracks. With the song’s theme dancing around concepts of serenity and lyrics that preach peace, the track is as calming as it sounds. Paired with a characteristically unique verse from Tems, Mannywellz gives us a timeless tune in the process. This same energy rides along to the next song, as an appreciative tune to a lover “So Good” is almost like an artist drawing out the features of a girl he admires. Gentle touches of piano chords carry Manny’s romantic yet safe-for-work lyrics forming an innocent, almost ordained love ballad.

“Danfo” draws inspiration from one of Lagos’s most common methods of transportation; privately-owned minibuses that carry passengers. “Danfo” gives the same energy as “So Good” but instead Danfo takes on a more slowed down Afrobeats production. Local drums and soothing jazzy vibes accompany catchy lyrics like “All your angles drive me crazy like Danfo Driver ” comparing the level of craziness he feels for his girl to the road rage associated with many Danfo drivers.

Speaking to Grammy.com, the singer grew up on family musical favourites and gaining further inspiration from artistes like the iconic Asa, modernizing his sounds with today’s R&B aesthetics. This influence can be seen on songs like “Sweet N Tender” which is arguably the smoothest record on the seven-song packed project. With fluid harmonies and Mannywellz’s familiar, cohesive sound, the record matches the title of the song, shoring sweet vocals, drops of religiosity and tenderness that make the song a flawless one.

“Dangerous” is an acoustic jam that highlights the dangers of vulnerability that comes with being in love. On here, Mannywellz brings out the heartfelt writing skills again, penning them carefully to match the strings of a guitar. The Grammy award-winning artiste then recruits Nigerian duo VanJess on “Floating”, a 90’s inspired production that breathes contemporary electronic touches. Floating’s lyrics cover the pros of being in love via peak sensual writing skills from the duo and Manny, defining quality synchronicity from these three Nigerian new ages artistes. 

To end the project, he caps it off with Maybach Music label’s Wale, who does his thing on “A Million”, delivering a moody verse that is carried by Mannnywellz’s lighter yet scratchier voice which once again balances out the production perfectly.

On Mirage, Mannywellz is giving fans a wider look and experience into his style and mindset, blending the influences he grew up on and successfully feeding and in my opinion satisfying the masses with it.

4.3

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