by Wilfred Okiche
The Enterkraner is the debut album from Dammy Krane, the protégé of 2face Idibia with his very own brand of 21st century Fuji; a sub-genre that borrows heavily from the popular, instrumental Fuji explosion of the 80s and mashes up with generous doses of today’s afropop sound.
The resultant mix is not edgy enough to be ground breaking, neither is it particularly different from whatever else is out there but at least the approach buys Mr Krane some form of unique identity, something to set him apart from the maddening crowd that is pop music today. This stand out identity is not a claim many of his contemporaries can make.
Would that Dammy Krane had taken this advantage more seriously. Perhaps he would have been more inclined to put in more work on his sound.
The Enterkraner has its bright spots; a generous portion of it is actually above average but there is a desperate and utter lack of finesse that the album is presented with. First of all, the cover art which should be the first attraction to the record is so dull, one wonders if there is no creative team at Hypertek to oversee this things.
The picture is of the pop star and hopeful competitor for the space that Davido and Wizkid currently occupy, dressed in his usual scruffy manner, with glass covered eyes staring forward from a dull background. This same lack of precision presents itself in peppered doses on the record itself; it is present in Dammy Krane’s vocal flourishes, his untidy song writing, the mixing of the record, the lazy choice of album guests and the overall quality of production.
But Mr Krane can be likened to the clichéd diamond in the rough and manages to pull out some grace from the grass that threatens to overrun the album. He is bright and easy on lead single, Amin, the type of song that with its sing along chorus was crafted specifically to be a crowd pleaser. Produced by Spellz, Amin is not ashamed of its motives and swings along pleasantly even when the lyrics therein are basic fare.
Krane’s cringe worthy lyricism rears its head on the otherwise decent Clinching, the compulsory grass to grace track where Pucado stands in for Phyno and Krane misfires on the chorus; Back in the days when I no get shishin/ they always run from me like an HIV victim.
Olamide is splashy and untamed as ever on Love na die, a bubble gum sparkly affair and the groove continues with the highlife-y Faleela, the wedding song of the album. Label mates Rocksteady and 2face help spice up the celebratory Jolly good fellow but the Davido assisted In case of incasity does not advance the disc’s cause any further.
There are no stand out hits, no broadly outlined anthems and the album will probably be lost in the fast shuffle that follows the end of 2014 album releases. But for all its weaknesses, The Enterkraner manages to play like a full album as opposed to the slap dash collection of singles that it could have been. It is an average, middling debut from an artiste still struggling to find his space in the business. And maybe that is not a bad thing.
– The writer tweets from @drwill20