Brymo’s “Klĭtôrĭs” is a testament of dedication to craft and artistic freedom

KlitorisALBUM: KLITORIS
ARTIST: BRYMO
LABEL: INDEPENDENT
YEAR: 2016

SCORE: 9.2/10

“The clitoris is a complex structure, containing external and internal components”- Wikipedia

When the critically acclaimed afro-soul artist Brymo first announced the title and cover art for his fifth studio album, it naturally caused a havoc with Nigerians. I personally found it disturbing yet compelling at the same time. Later on he revealed that the title translates to Key in the Greek language with the singer stating “The album is the key to a certain door I have knocked on for years; and yes it was meant to be sensual, there ought to be two sides to the coin.” The artwork portrays a woman’s semi-nude figure with her head comprised of a vulture and antlers. Her breasts are concealed by flowers and her bottom half is hidden underneath a cloak. If you squint hard enough the supposed wings at her back are a mirage and are actually a man’s hands stretched out. Squint harder and the parts of his head visible portray him wearing a crown of thorns.

Now this can mean so many things. Religiously it can reference Eve’s body if you take note of the fact that it has a forest setting. The complex nature of the photograph may relate to the many facets of love and sensuality. But most importantly, the album art is a guide to the incredible music Olawale Olofo’ro has crafted and the themes he has explored on his latest offering.

          Naked opens the album on a somber note with the production providing an African cinematic feel. It’s a deeply personal song that sees Brymo battle with himself. Ultimately love is the underlying theme and his girlfriend Esse Kakada lending her vocals to the track takes the significance of the track to a whole other level. Dem Dey Go kicks in with it’s infectious drums and handclaps which find a way to give traditional African bonfire music styles a stunning contemporary twist. Brymo excels at this and we love him for it. The song sheds light on societal issues most Nigerians face and his hopes for better times. The nearest thing to an outright pop song comes with Happy Memories. The subject matter has taken me time to process: Is the singer-songwriter reflecting on lost love or the initial honeymoon phase between him and his girlfriend? Then again not every song has to be about personal experiences. Ko S’aya Mi is a celebration of a woman with the body of a goddess that he intends to marry. His songwriting and composition sets the tone perfectly here. Alajọ Ṣomolu continues with the socio-political commentary that sums up the one saying Nigerians collectively agree on: “Hard work pays off.” The story of the famous thrift collector Alajo Somolu is a famous one and is commonly used in theYoruba language. Especially when describing good work ethic. Governmental issues or not, Nigerians stay grinding yo. Meanwhile…THE PRODUCTION ON THIS TRACK MY GOODNESS. This is a bop right here. It also doubles as the perfect workout jam and daily motivator. Brymo then brings out his fiery live persona to the rock infused Something Good Is Happening, a song celebrating success and reminding us to take out time to actually acknowledge those “I Win” moments.

The singer goes introspective on Billion Naira Dream, a track that is extremely relatable to a lot of people who envision the mega success within their reach. “I’m a fan with many faces/And my life is in many phases” gives an idea of the many job hats we all wear throughout our lives. (Don’t forget the average millionaire has multiple streams of income). This one deserves more than one listen to really get into and feel his passion. The artist revisits romance on Let’s Make Love, a ballad that deserves it’s time to shine on wedding slow dance floors immediately. It’s a beautiful track really. Mirage is a brilliant, predominantly piano-driven soulful number that once again takes on the theme of love. If you remember I mentioned a mirage in the album art. Well there you go.

My absolute favourite song on the album comes with the penultimate track The Way The Cookie Crumbles. It’s a contemporary reggae/R&B number that not only boasts his excellent songwriting but spot on production. If you listen in, you hear a buzzer going off. A cookie crumbling signifies an end of a situation. A buzzer does the same thing in a sense. The production is one of the best in Nigerian music this year hands down. Upon first listen a few months back I had no idea that the album closer, The Girl From New York, was a track on it’s own due to it’s similarity to the preceding track. I’ve come to call it the album’s outro that also makes us wonder who that girl is. Maybe we’ll find out on the sixth album?
Once again Brymo has crafted an excellent body of work and proves why he is one of Nigeria’s most prolific artists at the moment. He has created an album much like the sexual connotation of the title, with varied complexities and hidden pleasures that somewhat describe a man’s life. Klitoris is a testament of dedication to craft and artistic freedom and thus reveals one of the best albums of the year.

Comments (2)

  1. Well Reviewed! This album speaks volumes and its funny how a controversial title like “Klitoris” can be used as a cue to talk about “key” issues in society, personal life and love. Brymo’s song writing is sooo impeccable and this album is deffs worth the rating! Great job again!!

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