Barely a Year after releasing his highly successful sophomore album ” A Good Time ” which amassed over a billion streams worldwide, Nigerian Music Star and DMW helmsman David Adeleke popularly known as Davido released his third studio album ” A Better Time” on the 13th November , 2020.
In the following year after his ” A Good Time” album which saw the birth of his first son , ifeanyi who is also the cover of the album , the recovery of his fiancee Chioma from the Covid- 19 virus amidst breakup rumours, constant criticism that his survival in the music industry is because of his wealth, a newly found beef with erstwhile friend and Grammy nominee , Burna Boy and continued rivalry with self acclaimed Starboy Wizkid , Davido announced his third studio album ” A Better Time ” would drop in October 2020.
A month after , Davido drops the highly anticipated Album and here’s our review of the Afro beats, RnB and Hip hop themed Project .
Producers: NapjiDmw, Magicboi, Chillz, Eljack, Dante,Semzibeatz, FreshVDM, Isaac MasterDon, Kiddominant , Speroachbeatz, Ckay, Blaisebeatz, Papamitrou, Xander,Hit boy, Fresh, Lord Sky
Features: Lil baby, Sauti Sol, Bella Shmurda, Mayorkun, Sho Madjozi, Nas, Hit boy, Ckay, Mugeez, Tiwa Savage, Chris brown, Young thug, Nicki minaj
Song Writers – Deinde , Peruzzi, Wale Kwame, MayD, Toye, Kiddominant,
Engineers – STG, Dremo, Joshua Harbin,
Genre – Afrobeats, House Music , RnB, Hip hop, Pop
Runtime – 55 minutes
Tracks – 17
Label – Davido Music Worldwide/RCA/Sony Music Entertainment UK limited
The album opens on a high note with the napji produced ” FEM” which means ” Shut Up”. The track housed subliminal shots at Burna boy with lines like ” Tell Odogwu say we like to party” , Just Call Me” while also warning other haters to be careful and stop hating on his grind/success. The hook is very catchy with a sing along vibe and was propelled to greater heights by the EndSars protest when it became the unofficial protest song in the country at the time . Completed with a delightful surprise performance at the Big brother finale and a colorful music video from DammyTwitch, FEM became A Better Time ‘s First hit track.
On Jowo, Davido returns to the Career Saving Pon Pon style which he employed on songs like ” IF” and “FALL” . He pleads with his lover to please stay with him and marry him. Davido delivers good lyrics and an impressive vocal delivery on the track . A song for the romantic ones and also a potential hit .One of the album’s strongest joints .
3) SOMETHING FISHY
Something Fishy reminds me of ” Return ” off Davido’s ” Son of Mercy” Ep and Adekunle Gold’s Hit single ” Jore” featuring Kizz daniel. The owambe vibe of the song is laudable and Davido once again brings his A game on . The producer Chillz also did a very impressive job on the track . Straight banger !! ” Wait , something Fishy going down ” ✨✨.
4) HOLY GROUND FEAT NICKI MINAJ
When I heard that there was a song with Nicki minaj on the album , I was like wow , massive . And then came ” Holy Ground “. There’s something just really off about the track especially for a Nicki minaj feature . Perhaps the chemistry, maybe the hook , or just the funny lyrics . Holy ground is a track one would not likely put on repeat .
On the amapiano inspired “Heaven” produced by El jack , Davido promises to bring the heavenly feeling to his woman while also admonishing her beauty in comparison with an angel that came from heaven . The track is a feel good and sing along track with solid production .. one thing about the album so far is the quality music production and engineering . An effort Davido should be commended for.
6) VERY SPECIAL
On the May D written ” Very Special”, Davido scores a wedding classic and something for the owambes . The beats , the lyrics and the delivery are really onpoint. It’s really a song for the old and the young . One of the best songs on the album .
” Mo kan ma sope ” ✨
I think it’s general consensus that having Mayorkun on a track translates almost certainly to having a hit. Mayorkun comes through with his witty lines and rhymes on the fresh produced beat . The Davido proteges clarifies who he learnt his craft from.and credits his boss ” Davido” as the best while also affirming “nobody sing pass wandecoal” . The chemistry between the two on the track is really pleasant to the ears .
A potential hit for the clubs and parties as the DMW Artistes brag about their status and talent in the industry . Solid bop !!!
8) SHOPPING SPREE FT CHRIS BROWN & YOUNG THUG
This hip-hop joint with Chris brown and young thug surprisingly proves to be the Most artistically crafted and successful Davido’s hip hop collaboration yet after the ill fated ” Pere” feat Young thug and rae sremmurd. The three artistes came through with dope verses and swag as they talk about taking pretty girls on shopping spree on this bouncy hip-hop beat.
Then Davido on the Hook , my jesus !!! Best Davido hook in a while .
Shopping spree is an instant hit with a repeat value of 98 percent .
Another Romantic song on the album produced by DMW inhouse producer, Napji . Short and sweet . The chants are lovely
Davido calls his pretty lady the sunlight in his life and appreciates all her beautiful features while promising never to lie to her . Napji the producer continues to prove he is a valuable addition to the DMW family with his stellar productions and Davido once again delivers for the ladies .
10) TANANA FT TIWA SAVAGE
Davido decides to switch things up a bit and comes through with the galala/swo influenced ” “Tanana”. The Kiddominant produced track brings a refreshing feel to the album . Tiwa savage also delivers an excellent verse on the track . This one is for the reminiscing the good old galala days while also catching groove seriously at parties and gatherings . A retro styled video for the song would also be really nice .
11) MEBE FT MUGEEZ
Davido connects with his fans from Ghana as he sings that his lady’s body physique will make him to study physics”. Better lyrics could have been employed by Davido on this joint but Mugeez came through with his verse . Not bad at all .
12) LALA FT CKAY
This one is going to be a fan favourite . Right from the first listen . With a stellar production and excellent featured verse from Ckay , the amapiano/makossa joint will sure rock the Clubs and Anglophone countries. Davido is also at creative ease on the track and having maximum fun which made the track even more enjoyable .
13) SO CRAZY FT LIL BABY
It is important to note that all the featured Artistes came through with their verse on A Better Time . So crazy is another track the Featured artiste , Lil Baby came fully prepared. On the track davido talks about his lover that is not giving him attention and driving him crazy . Mixed feelings about this track. Not bad , Not good, just there .
14) BIRTHDAY CAKE FT NAS , HIT BOY
This was just a song that was not needed on the album . The style of the two Artistes do not fit. The lyrics from Davido are lazy and shows no attempt to accommodate and assist NAS . The track shouldn’t have made the album . Skip.
15) I GOT A FRIEND FT MAYORKUN & SHO MADJOZI
House music ✨✨✨. The trio of Mayorkun , Davido and south african artiste , sho Madjozi deliver this amapiano track as a tribute to the Davido’s DMW friends like Lati , Tycoone, Prince,Asa Asika among others . Good production , vibes and verses. An actual Bop.
16) FADE FT BELLA SCHMURDA
First, the beat by Speroachbeatz sounds so similar to a previous joint and really disjointed .The two Artistes struggled to achieve chemistry . What would have otherwise being a serious jam is harmed by the monotous and distorted beats . Davido did his best , Bella did his best and Speroachbeatz gave his worst .
17) ON MY WAY FT SAUTI SOL
Can there ever be a bad Sauti SOL song . I doubt . This Davido and Sauti SOL song is the perfect outro for A Better Time .The Lord Sky production is a delight to the ears . Sauti sol beautiful lingua infusion gives the track an heavenly feel . Beautiful songwriting too.
While I still believe the ” A Good Time ” is solidly underated, I believe ” A Better Time ” will not suffer the same fate. On this album , we see a Davido that is trying to strike a balance between the international market and the local music scene in Africa . We also see a Davido that is very deliberate with his creative act and ensures he makes the songs people want and consequently , Potential hits .
Excelling on tracks like ” Jowo” , ” Heaven”, ” The Best” , “On my way” Tanana”, ” Lala” and other songs obviously intended for African market , the bane of the album seems to be his resolve to break into the international market .
Save the track with Chris brown and Young thug , all other international collabos on the album seems like a forced attempt to do something to please the international community . The highly forgettable ” Holy Ground ” with Nicki Minaj , the Manageable ” So Crazy” with Lil baby and the track that should never have happened with NAS and Hitboy .
For Someone who saw the effect of unnecessary international collabos and did a back to the basics campaign with songs like ” IF ” and “Fall” a few years back , it is suprising that Davido has still chosen to tow the path of unfavourable international collabos rather than stick to his beautiful creative process that is in conformity with his roots as an African.
Production is very commendable as all producers came in their top form except for Speroachbeatz distasteful production on Fade featuring Bella Shmurda . Special shout out also to Napji DMW for his outstanding work .
The Mixing , mastering and engineering on A Better Time is world class , Big kudos to Dremo and STG . The track arrangement could have been way better though to improve cohesion and flow.
The versatility of the tracks must also be praised as songs switch from Afro RnB to House music to galala, Pon Pon and then Hip-hop Rap. The genuine attempt by Davido to create a diversely appealing album evident in features from Ghana and Eastern Africa as well as features from the international scene is commendable.
The acknowledgment and use of songwriters on the project is also very important for the culture and Davido has done the right thing by employing the services of these people.
The delivery of lyrics on the album is above average and the beautiful in Davido’s vocal power and delivery shows he must have done a proper research and truly worked on his voice for this project. Truth be told, Davido really worked hard on the project .
A Better time seems like an album made to prove a point and of course the point is well proven . One thing is sure , This album will birth hits in the country and also birth hits worldwide.