The Ghanaian star holds heavy strength when it comes to making a body of work, his sophomore album is a dense and diverse suite of collage that invites replay value backed by danceable tunes and his zeal to further his touch on all genres.
The making of a second album is always a tricky territory for artists, especially when your debut records were critical and commercial successes, there’s this pressure to do better, keep the run going, and “BUTiFLY” has enough fuel for that drive. Filled with a star-studded feature list, it is his most high-profile project to date, lead single “Je M’appelle” which features Davido, is attesting to it, whiles “Yao” allows him to join a number of flag bearers for his country’s rap scene, and “Happy Day” still remains a number 1 fan favorite. DarkoVibes’ will to share his random experiences from his life unto his songs is one of the skills that has kept his listeners closer.
“Backwoods” sounds like a mixed time, from rolling backwoods to cheating on his girl and havingbto confess, he spills all through a sing-song flow that toggles between clear-eyed observation and heavy-lidded confession, all on a relaxing beat. It’s the same energy on “Oh My Days’”, but less explicit and more emotional. With backing melodies from Wizkid, he delivers one of the best verses on the album, floating effortlessly while Jump Off’s ever comforting production serves as a cushion for it all, making it the smoothest song on the album. What is a Darko album without the presence of Villain Sounds/La Meme Gang? Nxwrth’s bedroom-pop production soars here, and Darko’s vocal excellence and writing, completes a perfect modern Afro-soul song.
Features spice up projects, adding a different dimension from the guest’s view. Not3s was an unexpected name, but his club nights, tender moments and last-call horniness adds this fitting melodramatic theme to “My Yard”, the first of two songs produced by Killbeatz on the album. You just have to appreciate the wealth of production here, on “0244: 027”, MOG Beats’ uptempo, soul-infused beats prove to be complementary, Darko and King Promise utilise this by heightening their expressions of love on an Afro-anthemic song, the duo are already fan favorites after their 2021 smash single “Inna Song”, this record only fuels the idea of a joint project from them. Darko’s approach to this album is a masterclass in curation, a melange of niche humor, and inspired experiments that frees up any artiste’s will to be the pop star that they want to be.
“Abundance” and “Jealousy” fall under the second class and “Feel Your Body” is the mainstream banger that’ll push you to the next level, with an Oxlade feature that elevates the song’s status to another level. MOG’s fast paced log drums and electric guitar breathes life into the idea of an Afro-Pianon joint. Two of Ghana’s most prolific rappers also make an appearance here, Omar Sterling’s light, lush, and streaked with humorous lines about party life sums up “Wow”, and M.anifest’s short but grim reality verse graces “I know” equally.
Darko is at his best when experimenting, his formula for an Afro-Reggae song hits close to home. “Around The Globe ” steers towards the direction of contemporary dancehall with breezier roots of reggae. Midtempo production backed heavily by the surety of his love through his voice. It’s a similar theme to “Side Chick” but without the giddy presence of Jupitar. However, there’s less hip hop on this project, which is fair when you consider his Cornerstone Ep release 2 years ago, but he ends the album with one, “Legends Never Die” is a comparatively relaxing trap song that plays around the idea of a victory Lap, reminiscing the journey and manifesting for the best.
Darko’s second go at an album works well, Ideas that couldn’t possibly work on paper are executed skilfully and to often gorgeous effect thanks to a well fitted production for every song. This allows him to lock into a zone where each subsequent record amplifies the intensity, and having two of Africa’s Afro-Trinity on your album also adds more clarity to an album which is themed around the ideologies of flying high.
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