by Wilfred Okiche
It’s been four years since dark skinned Timi Dakolo melted our hearts with his rich baritone voice and walked away with the grand prize at the West African idol competition. Four checkered years for the young man, surviving both personal and professional battles; four long years for us as we waited patiently. A talent like this is worth the wait, fans reasoned.
After some teaser singles and live public appearances, the original Timi finally debuts with ‘Beautiful Noise’.
The disc opens with some beautiful noise indeed. On the intro, he seduces us in his native tongue and in those few minutes, does for the Ijaw language what 2face does for the Idomas.
You have heard the track ‘Let it shine’ before, but not Timi’s take on it. He takes a classic, wraps his voice around it and makes it solely his, infusing his own struggles into the lyrics. You would have to be reminded that it is a remake.
Track after track, he sings almost singularly of love; love lost, love regained. There is a brief detours on ‘Raise the Roof’ where he heads for the clubs but he quickly retraces his steps and follows his heart back to the love songs.
The rocker ‘Heaven Please’ which won the Hip-Hop World Award for best recording is a true album highlight and boasts of a scorching verse from MI. ‘There’s a Cry’ is a haunting ballad that speaks to us in these trying times and preaches peace; both regional and national. It is music that can make a difference.
The genius producer, Cobhams Asuquo, is all over the record and their chemistry is palpable but the album is Timi’s alone. A perfect showcase for his beatific vocals, his influences are all present. Shades of Lemar, Michael Bolton and Luther Vandross erupt but he still asserts his presence and stamps his authority on the record.
Perhaps the album’s only flaw is its insistence on touching every genre. Hip-Hop, soul, rock, highlife and good old R&B are all represented here and they all blend to form a kind of musical melee. But it is beautiful noise indeed and we are listening.