ECLIPSE is the latest album from the young and talented musical figure, Oxlade. The singer/songwriter attained celebrity status after releasing his debut 6-track extended play OXYGENE in 2020. Although OXYGENE is a pretty decent album by every standard, the 18-minute record could not stand shoulder to shoulder with critically acclaimed full-length LPs from the likes of Burna Boy, Wizkid, and Tiwa Savage that year. Nevertheless, Oxlade was able to carve his mark.
The new EP is not much of a turn-away from the one that brought the 23-year-old crooner into prominence. However, Oxlade’s decision to come back with an even lesser 12-minute track length is disappointing, considering that he is still yet to release an LP. Nevertheless, it will be slander to say that Eclipse left no impression or impact. The catchy hooks, sumptuous vocals, and excellent sound instrumentation heard on the EP; makes it an album deserving of good listening.
The first track, “More”, bears very close semblance to 9ice’s “wedding day” single from the classic 2008 Gongo Aso LP. Singing over a mix of saxophone synths, deep-toned chants, and a steady flow of groovy percussions; Oxlade declares his undying love for his woman: /Even if you do me wrong o/ /I no go mess up/ he sings. Although the melancholic feel of the track can make any listener fall fast asleep quicker than expected, the afro-rhythmic percussion makes the track enjoyable.
The 2nd track, “Ojuju” did not stray far off from the first track. Thankfully, the catchy hook and melodic instrumentation on the song make the track a better upgrade. The track features a clash of gloomy feelings and a romantic atmosphere, as Oxlade sings of his philophobia in forced melodramatic lyrics. /I dey fear ojuju, I dey fear/ /I am fed up of falling, I’m falling again/ he croons. Be that as it may, Coublon got almost everything right with the music instrumentation. The rhythm and beat compliment Oxlade’s vocals splendidly.
If Coublon did a great job with Ojuju, then he outdid himself in the 3rd track; “Pay me”. The intoxicating electric guitar solo embellished into the song reminds one of a rhythm musical juju live concert from the late 80s. And although Oxlade delivers sumptuous vocals on the track, the lyrics were not expressive enough. “Incomplete” is a worthy outro. Although the track has a higher tempo, the melody and background chants on the track retain the overall musical orientation of the EP.
Eclipse appears to be jointly owned by Oxlade and his record label, Troniq. Although very listenable and enjoyable, the EP cannot be described as “mindblowing”. Nevertheless, the melancholic feel of the songs makes the EP a distinctive body of work. We can only wait to see how the album will rank in Oxlade’s discography; many years to come.
Album score: 6.5/10