by Wilfred Okiche
The most famous twins this side of the Atlantic, Peter and Paul Okoye, popularly known as P-Square, are back with album number five and boy, are we excited! The disc is cheekily titled ‘The Invasion’, and the cover features the brothers in superstar mode – on a stage, dressed in costumes reminiscent of Michael Jackson in his prime, with an adoring horde of fans (that would be we mortals), reaching out to touch them.
All of this creates excitement that is unfortunately dispelled after listening to this 14-track album.
It starts out on a familiar note with the song ‘Beautiful Onyinye’, which is an ode to past hit ‘No one like you’ from their ‘Game Over’ CD. Don’t be in a hurry to dismiss it, though. It is actually one of the albums brighter spots and should serve as the wedding song for the rest of the year.
The album’s lead singles ‘Forever’ and ‘Bunieya Enu’ are serviceable up tempo tracks that should get the party started anytime. Nothing new, nothing special.
Known for keeping it all in the family, they allow more collaborations on this record and this should ideally be a good thing but going by the end results, they needn’t have bothered. Square Records’ new signee, MayD, is on a couple of tracks and he gives a good account of himself. Though a lot of the material is generic, he still manages to come across as a singer with promise.
Not so for Tiwa Savage, who becomes the first victim of the invasion. Her fragile vocals are quickly swallowed up in the hard hitting beats of “Do as I do’’. Waje returns to P Square’s turf – as a bonafide artiste this time – on the techno-tinged ‘Jeje’, and while her pipes are as sonorous as ever, the track is no ‘’Do Me”.
Naeto C does his bit to spice up ‘She’s hot’, but his laid back verse seems phoned in and uninspired. This leaves the pulsating, crunked up album closer, ‘Shake It Down Low’ as the unlikely saviour. With guest rapper Muna (in a Nicki Minaj inspired riff) going one on one against Eva, the sexy duo save the day and steal the spotlight from the brothers. You’ll have this one on replay.
Look out for other highlights, ‘Chop my money’ and ‘Asamkpokoto’ which manage to redeem the album. The twins make the best videos in the business though, and a lot of these songs will require massive video promotions to become anthems.
This is an album P-Square should have made years ago. Lacking improvement (they still write lyrics like “See me I dey craze/Like say I don dey mad) and short on originality, it is not worthy of their current status as Africa’s biggest pop duo. It does not approach the heights attained by the ‘Get Squared’ album or even the playful inventiveness of their last effort ‘Danger’.
That’s not to say though that The Invasion will not find it’s market. Like the album art suggests, they have amassed a loyal following over the years and these people will ensure the success of this album. We hope for the sake of these same super fans, their next record will be better.