Review: If Orange Was A Place By Tems

The Nigerian singer’s quest for inner peace continues on her newest EP, ‘If Orange Was A Place’ but with a much more conscientious step, allowing her to unlock deeper levels of her writing skills.

Tems is having an unforgettable year, “Essence” keeps hitting new highs. Currently, she stands as Africa’s most listened to act with 14.168 million streams on Spotify. With a slot on Drake’s Certified Lover Boy album, with “Fountains” debuting at #26 on the hot 100, Tems is the First Female Nigerian/Afrobeat Artist To Score 2 Entries on the Billboard hot 100. With the world at her feet, she embraces it with the same tools that got her to the top: the music. 

If Orange Was A Place is a blissful project. “CRAZY TINGS” which is the lead single off the EP sets the journey describing a rough path, battling daily demons of doubt over a funky, rich Guilty Beatz production. The light-hearted yet layered beat perfectly carries her message of endurance to reap better rewards.

The partnership between Guiltybeatz production and Tems spans over four songs on the 5 song EP. Together the duo craft a pitch-perfect distillation of their chemistry. This takes us into “FOUND”, an easy listening track featuring alt RnB favorite Grammy-nominated bad boy, Brent  Faiyaz whose soothing voice adds to the calm atmosphere. “FOUND” is a soothing declaration of self-discovery. 

On  “REPLAY” we witness a version of Tems which is uncommon. Ruthless and relentless sounding as ever, she demands we put some respeck on her name and give her her flowers. Channeling her rebel side and yielding her newfound freedom, Tems is happy to flex her pen and accomplishments against forgotten foes and naysayers.

Familiar with her personality through her pen, Tems is not one to engage in disputes that amount to nothing. In “AVOID THINGS”, she reveals a side of her that is philosophical and forgiving. You can almost feel the frustration in her diction as she sings out loud “I try to avoid things”,” I try to resolve things”.

In my opinion, happy-hearted Tems is the best Tems, and “VIBE OUT” sounds as if the singer harnessed the atmosphere of the tropics right into the track. She sounds warm as always with her vocals settling into the production as naturally as the sun sets insisting that today is not the day to get her feelings hurt committing to ensure her good day.

In 18 minutes, If Orange Was a Color is a palette of the many different emotions this superstar is currently facing. Pushed by percussion, cleverly layered productions, and her emotive vocals, Tems finds a kind of sonic coherence on here. Though her writing skills & vocal ability are the meat of what makes Tems distinctively Tems, the production allows her expansive artistic freedom that sees her float across these tracks. A moment we can respect and applaud as she settles into being one of the most sought-after African vocalists of her generation.

Listen to If Orange Was A Place here.

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