A ClassiQ review of Wizkid’s ‘More Love, Less Ego’ album | classiqdjfaze.com


When Wizkid released ‘Bad To Me’, the first single off the album, the Amapiano single divided opinion with critics and fans varying on its quality. With the current industry template failing to generate the needed effect, Wizkid returned to his quintessential style in ‘Money and Love’ and while the single might not have received an overwhelmingly positive reception, it did offer sonic similarities that were in itself sufficient for some listeners.


With the preceding singles, one could easily point out the richness of the beat which combined drums, horns, and jazz guitars for an exotic arrangement. While penmanship has ever really been Wizkid’s forte, Wizkid can deliver a melody that will match the quality of the beat to make for good singles, and it is this combination and the assistance of a carefully selected lineup that elevated ‘MIL’.


In ‘MLLE’, Wizkid wishes to replicate the musicality of ‘MIL’ using similar sonic templates – steady flowing melody, top production, and rich features while discussing the stress-free, wealthy, and hedonistic lifestyle of a megastar.


All through the album, the hedonistic mantra – gaining as much pleasure as possible – is a recurring theme. While the title ‘More Love, Less Ego’ ( a great title by the way) suggests an album that wishes to spread love and cut back on the egoistic tendencies of a global star, the content however suggests a sometimes romantic but mostly sexual type of love.


He repeatedly talks about his wealth flaunting how much he’s willing to spend on women and his luxurious jet-catching lifestyle. “Fly to Mumbai”, “My pocket full of money,” he says in ‘Money and Love’. He also holds up his sex game and offers women a taste. He uses a familiar melody and quite predictable lyrics that are lifted by stellar production and lush sound engineering – a recurring component of the album.


The first five opening singles carry similar melody and delivery that makes them appear like an extension of ‘Made In Lagos’. He talks about popping bottles and admiring fine waists that tingle him and make him want to spend his money. An all too familiar content that might bore some listeners, especially as he says the same thing the same way, and while the beats are exotic they might not entirely make up for these repetitive elements.


Retaining a singular template will require that for listeners to derive similar gratification the music needs to match the existing template or surpass it. In ‘2 Sugar’ Wizkid explores some individuality and demands that the bad energy be kept at arms length. The Ayra Starr-assisted single gleans from the ‘Essence’ without quite matching its quality. Ayra Starr’s performance is basic and Wizkid surely doesn’t outdo himself. And while the beat offers a lush sound that combines log drums and riffs, it doesn’t elevate the composition.


A listener who consumed ‘MIL’ might be able to guess the remaining part of ‘Everyday’ just 20 seconds into the song. The song’s opening monologue gave some perspective to the album title before Wizkid touched on the struggles of everyday life and finding pleasures in the Las Vegas lifestyle he can afford. While this sonic predictability doesn’t necessarily rob the song of quality, it does robs it of enjoyability as there’s a limit to how some listeners can enjoy so many different versions of the same song.


Jamaican artists Skillibeng and Shenseea combine for ‘Slip and Slide’, a stimulating song in which Shenseea stands out for her melody and delivery. The whispering lyrics, sensual melody, and delicately bouncy beat offer an ambience that evokes a volcanic sexual feeling in listeners and set the album for an enjoyable listen after the underwhelming opening 5 songs.


It’s easy to see why many listeners will consider ‘Flower Pad’ one of the best songs on the album. The hollow drums of Rumba music blend with riffs and a sprinkling of Spanish for an exotic sound. While the song sonically leans to international appeal just like ‘Slip and Slide’, its sheer enjoyability and the stimulating element it offers make it appealing across board.


The album picks off from ‘Slip and Slide’ and while the sonic element still reoccurs, the tracks are just simply better. Naira Marley‘s verse is quintessential and Skepta is impressive on the opening sexually suggestive Swing Record ‘Wow’.


Wizkid delivers what I consider his best melody and flow on the album in ‘Pressure’ where he commands and luxuriously navigates the sensational P.Priime beat that delivers familiar lyrics and intoxicating melody for a stellar dance record where he sings for his love interest and acknowledges her grip on him.


Even when he uses an Afrobeat-Esque melody in ‘Plenty Loving’ and a Highlife melody in ‘Special’ Wizkid retains a similar melodic sequence and flow scheme. The theme doesn’t change as he easily moves from English, Pidgin, and Yoruba while discussing women, sex, and pleasures. Don Toliver‘s vocals do what it was meant to do in ‘Special’ and Juls beat brings listeners under the African soothing night as they sip Palmwine and admire nature through the curvy waist of beautiful women.


The album peters out with ‘Frame’ which just echoes the same theme albeit with slightly better lyrics and a smooth melody that sees Wizkid stretch his vocals.


In ‘MLLE’, Wizkid wishes to replicate the musicality of ‘MIL’ using similar sonic templates – steady flowing melody, top production, and rich features while discussing the stress-free, wealthy, and hedonistic lifestyle of a megastar.


The album offers sonic coherence achieved through incredible sound engineering that delivers the luxurious sound needed to elevate the content and offer gratification.


The album sequencing could have been better as the first 5 songs made for an underwhelming opening. With a clearly repetitive melody and lyrics all too familiar, more gratification could have been better delivered by putting some of the best songs in the opening tracks.


Significant elements on the album clearly glean from ‘MIL’ and without the tracks hitting the quality of its template, perhaps only substantial commercial success will compensate for its quality.


Overall, while the sound engineering is resounding, listeners would expect no less from a Grammy-award-winning Afrobeats megastar and it, in my opinion, doesn’t adequately compensate for the vapidity in content, melody, and delivery, however artistically original it might be.


Songwriting, Themes, and Delivery: 1.4/2


Enjoyability and Satisfaction: 1.5/2

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