Boo Of The Booless… Chike’s Ultimate Love Story
If revelling from a mother’s love expression for her soldier son, to admonitions on forgiveness and peace and on infidelity; to a pep on patience and perseverance; to heartbreak notes; to multiple professions of love to a lover, already creates a portrait of a timeless piece that collages different love situations – of the ultimate love story, in your mind, then this review is already near complete, and the album succinctly self-spoken.
Yet, on a closer look, apart from a perfect 13-track arrangement, with a balanced shuffle of groovy and melancholic melodies that make it near-impossible to skip any song, the album also boasts of classic production and sound engineering from experienced hands and ears that show true understanding of what sound-harmony sounds like.
It bares the production fingerprints from largely non-famous names such as Deeyaso, Vtekk, Doron Clinton, Adejames Crack, Blaisemix, Bierdman and Nevmix. Yet, the talents, and not the name, as is common with singers like Burna Boy, Johnny Drille and Blackmagic, sell the project. Perhaps the most intriguing parts are the soft and soul-soothing violin melodies, blended with drums, guitar riffs and piano chords, on multiple tracks. A good example is Beautiful People.
A daring, but brilliant adventure, the masterpiece features only three artistes. While the Port-Harcourt-born vocal powerhouse, Ric Hassani’s-assisted Nakupenda was the riskier attempt – donning a Swahilian chorus and title (which also means ‘I love you’) –, the musical juggernaut’s, M.I. Abaga, expert storytelling and rhythmic flow saved the R.Kelly wannabe song, Forever, from being a turn-off.
The Zoro-assisted appreciation song Watching Over Me, however, was the perfect ending credits to God and to his family, and their Igbotic synergy was also perfect icing on an already fine cake.
Perhaps, the beauty of Chike’s music rests in its originality – flavoured with Igbo and Pidgin lyrics. Topping that to its melodies and instrumentals, if without caution, you could easily mislabel his Naija RnB/fusion sounds as palmwine-rhythm and blues. It proves to be an advantage seeing the singer from his steady rise from winning the 2009 vocalist of the year in his alma mater, Covenant University, where he trained as a computer engineer, to reaching the final 10 in MTN’s Project Fame West Africa in 2015, and finishing first runner up in the 2016 Airtel’s The Voice Nigeria.
A brilliant debut that has become an instant classic, this 48 min listen from former Universal Republic signer (2016-2017), and now independent artiste, leaves higher expectations for the singer’s sequel projects. One thing with the multitalented artiste, who has also been starring in the African Magic TV serial, Battleground, since 2017, is that he takes his music like a Picasso painting, steady with one brushstroke at a time.
Finally, Boo of the Booless has one superpower: its ability to make you re-listen over and over, eager to always hear melodies and lyrics that interflow like conjugated rivers of music.