Album - Ijele the Traveler

Artiste - Flavour

Record Label - 2nite Music Group (2017)

Duration - 64 minutes

Flavour may shy away from marriage in his personal life, but he's certainly not afraid to embrace a union with his music.

This is evident in the way he combines High-life music; which he's known for, with several other genres of music.

In this musical marriage created, Flavour gives High-life many wives, and like his four earlier ‘polygamous’ albums, while many tracks hit it off, some fall flat on their face.

The singer, who has become famous for getting positive results by combining High-life into various soundscapes, follows this path on his fifth album, ‘'Ijele the Traveler’'.

He marries reggaton and High-life in ''Baby na Yoka'', combines R&B and High-life in ''Virtuous woman'' and "Iheneme".

Then he experiments with Trap and High-life in the Terry Apala assisted track, ''Body calling" and Ogene music on ''Ijele'' featuring Zoro.

Flavour also shows his romantic side in "Virtuous woman'' and ''Iheneme'' featuring Flavour's musical 'girlfriend' Chidinma. The songs gently caress the heart like his other piano assisted ballads ‘'Golibe’' and ‘'Ada Ada’'.

Then he shifts gear into party mode in ‘'Baby na yoka'’, ‘'Sake of love’' with Ghanaian rapper, Sarkodie and ''Loose Guard' with fellow beast from the East, Phyno. These are mid-tempo commercial songs that have the potential to set the airwaves and dance floors on fire.

Broda Chinedu Okoli (Flavour's real name) unleashes his Christian side in ''Chimamanda'' which literally means "My God will not fail".

He follows the typical path of Igbo gospel musicians with the electric guitar, snare drums lining the lyrics and the interjections of 'Jesus' minus the the nasal singing. In the track, he prays for 'men of God', the general public and himself, pleading that God will not fail anyone.

Sometimes, his fusions come short and ''Jaiye'' is one of such as a lazy attempt to improve on the 2015 High-life and pop mashup ‘'Wake up’' which featured the silky voice of Wande Coal.

The Trap influenced ‘'Body calling’' gets shot in the stomach by the tired sounding repetition of some of the lines in the track, and even throwing in Terry Apala at the later part could not save the song from its drabness, nor could it change the feeling that the track was missing an important ingredient that could make it shine.

Then Flavour shifts the goal post from his normal fusions.

Some of the experimentation pay off, like the 'folksy' ogene sound that Flavour embraces in ''Ijele''. In this song, he recruits one of the pioneers of Ogene music's reentry into mainstream music, an Enugu-based rapper called Zoro.

Flavour unapologetically returns to his Igbo roots in this track even as two things stick out on this song - first, to play ogene music, only two instruments are vital: the lead ogene itself and the oja (flute). The second thing is that 'Ijele' is a masquerade from the South East that only comes out during special occasions, so one can say that the song is made up of  interesting elements.

Once you hear the call and response on the song it oozes of Igbo culture in all its glory, and the celebration of the mysterious masquerade cult.

He also tries soft-rock on the last song on the album titled  '‘Most High’' which is a summary of his meeting with his biggest fan in Liberia, a blind  boy named Semah G. Weifur. The move works well as it shows a more humane and fragile side to Flavour.

Ijele the Traveler truly takes you on a journey which shows that the mark is changing, slowly but surely.

Rating: 4

3-Worth Checking Out