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Album Review: Falz - Stories That Touch

 

Artist: Falz

Album Title: Stories That Touch

Label: Bahdguys Entertainment

Release Date: November 16, 2015.

 

Coming off a very successful year, Folarinde ‘Falz’ Falana is back with his sophomore record, Stories That Touch. He’s been ubiquitous, from fronting Ad campaigns for several brands to becoming an A-list star, still, it’s back to the music for him. Being the scion of one of Nigeria’s foremost legal luminaries must come with it own pressures, indeed, Falz is a qualified lawyer but his route to the music scene has been less than conventional, blurring the line between his act as a comedian and a rapper. One is never quite sure which is which. Oddly it works, as he switches effortlessly between Yoru-English, Yoruba and Pidgin.

The record opens up with Kabiyesi feat Oyinkansola (Kabiyesi means ‘his highness’), which samples Fuji legends, KWAM 1 and Sikiru Ayinde Barrister. His oriki (lineage poetry) forms part of the chorus, his praises are sung in a manner that’s akin to the rapper smiling at himself in a mirror. The reflection is dope though; this is a most appropriate way to open the record.

Stories is a concept album in the sense that every song is a stand alone story; playfully admonishing as on Workaholic or encouraging as on My People. He gets seemingly personal whilst relaying the angst of a young man enduring a long distance relationship on Time DifferenceKarishika feat. Phyno & Chigurl, is as much about the production as it is the rappers’ work. Falz has undeniable chemistry with the album’s chief producer, Sess. The haunting underlay of the beat marries perfectly with the mood the rappers’ verses set. It’s a head-nodder, a rap along-er, and Falz’s second verse on the track is one of his best showings on this record. Soldier feat. Simi marks the album’s zenith, a tale of unrequited attention that would have been made that much better had Falz delivered his verses in standard Yoruba/English. Simi does her thing on the chorus, coming off as assured and vulnerable at the same time and she is mostly the reason the song makes such a lasting impression.

This is a very good record, its standout tracks are made by each of the album’s featured producers, Tintin with Kabiyesi, Sess with Karishika, Soldier by Oscar and Chardonnay Music feat Poe & Chyn by Spax; this one is for the Lekkoyi wine sipping crowd, his natural constituency. Horns laid over honey warm percussion, it’s a delight; this is SS3 senior rap, make my juniors bow/ still do this for the cake, we do this for chow/They say when they don blow they turn stupid or proud/I guess I’m stupid and proud.

He has shown that he understand how to make a record, for the second time, following the unfairly slept on Wazup Guy. The Bez assisted wedding jam, Love You Pass is an obvious play for the huge wedding market, laid over what sounds like a large live band production. Even if the song does not quite convince one that Falz himself is ready for what he’s rapping about it all comes together beautifully.

The level of confidence it takes to resist resting on the undoubted synergy he and Sess enjoy is to be admired. The disparate producers managed to make a record that sounds like an album. Each story is given its proper chance to be enjoyed, minus Kawosoke; this track is Falz overindulging himself, an unsuccessful attempt at making a pop fuji record, and to a lesser degree, Celebrity GirlfriendFalz has made what has to be the Hip-Hop Album of the Year to be specific and a contender for Album of the Year.

Perhaps he had something to prove or he was just having fun making music but Falz has injected some much needed excitement into the scene, a joker. ‘Stories That Touch’ is the Nigerian equivalent of the sarcastic refrain, cool story but there’s nothing funny about this record, he's clearly for real. His work ethic and his desire to make a record worth remembering is best illustrated by Karishika (Part 2) feat. M.I & SDC. He didn’t call it a remix and leave one of his original verses on, he laid a fresh sixteen bars on it. It’s something small but these are the signs that lets his audience know that he takes this record making process seriously. Another point worth noting is, the features all enhance this record; the aforementioned Simi, Reminisce, the particularly impressive Poe & Chyn etc, they all showed up on their respective tracks.

Stories is an exoteric album, not surprising, since his shtick is very much the hapless everyman who is unaware or uninhibited by his own flaws. Largely shorn of invectives, sans the risque Clap, this album certifies him as a rapper in every sense of the word; his flow, delivery and storytelling skills compare very well with the better amongst his peers. The minor gripe is, Falz is a character. It’s unclear how much of the man behind the character sneaked on to this record but it isn’t much of a problem if the character can make music that will stay on deck like this record will.

For those who get the joke and understand that Falz is a character, and for those who can’t tell the difference, Stories That Touch offers something to enjoy for all.

 

This album is rated 8/10

 

You can follow Tola Sarumi on Twitter :- @AfroVII

 

NOTE:

*The opinions expressed in this article/review are those of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views of notjustOk.com.*

Listen to more Falz"Soft Work" by Falz 

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Someone_Special
Someone_Special
4 years ago

I am yet to listen to the entire album. If this review is right then the album is worth listening to.

@geedolz124
4 years ago

@FALZTHEBAHDGUY DESERVES A 9.5 IN THIS ALBUM...NICE REVIEW THOOO...BEST ALBUM IN NIGERIA FOR 2015..ONLY LERIQ COMES CLOSE......

Lemo93
Lemo93
4 years ago
Reply to  @geedolz124

If this is the "best album" this year then what's Wande Coal's WANTED album? Lmaooooooo Nigerians yo, y'all been listening to crap loud music too long that you've forgotten what good music sounds like. But it's all good cause this is your opinion.

@NsicoMichaels
4 years ago

Mehn...
Just finished reading it for the 3rd time in a row. The review is a thorough one. And he's very generous enough with his rating too.
I love this Afro Guy's writeup, it makes me jealous him like crazy. Lol

@NsicoMichaels
4 years ago
Reply to  @NsicoMichaels

And I just learnt that the author of this Album Review is a Lady. Wowwww. She's a brainiac ?

Agudosi
Agudosi
4 years ago
Reply to  @NsicoMichaels

My brother, we need to move away from this kind of thinking, its making us look bad. It shouldn't matter that the reviewer is a lady, she probably knows more about music than me and a lot of men, hence qualified to write the Review.

Adiwana
Adiwana
4 years ago

this album is fire.first afro hip hop i bought online.Album of the year.From productions to Flow to lyrics..First album since phyno NgNg i give 10/10.infact NgNg was 9/10..This album,infact i no know

i think albums this year were fire.Burna boy,seyi say came thru,Naeto C and mehn REuntown..Thanx to the industry for a nice year in afro music

Dat Naija Guy
Dat Naija Guy
4 years ago

I agree entirely with the review. Each time i listen to the album i start to pay attention to songs which i skipped earlier. So it comes across as a new album on every listen. My favourite song is certainly "Clap"; the Lateef Kayode intro and outro to the song, although comedic is absolutely apt. I also love Chardonnay music - smoothest flow I have heard in a long while. Soldier is a lovely song to drive to and Soft Work is just an amazing track with very witty lyrics. I can go on and on but the bottom line… Read more »

Mayowa
Mayowa
4 years ago

This and Leriq's TLS are the best albums of 2015 for me

Slay
Slay
4 years ago
Reply to  Mayowa

Listening to Leriq's TLS now on Spotify, never knew he had an album out.... thanks bro

Kojo
Kojo
4 years ago
Reply to  Mayowa

Your head is there! They are easily in the top 3 albums of 2015

Mayowa
Mayowa
4 years ago

This album and Leriq's TLS are the best albums of 2015 for me

24latest
4 years ago

dope album so far!

Roposhenko
Roposhenko
4 years ago

Very decent album...Falz really out in work!!!!

Emy
Emy
4 years ago

Falz matured as an artist and improved greatly.His ability on the mic,flow,creativity,in-depth analysis,word play in Pidigin and chemistry was what made this a master piece.i became a hardcore fan of this guy after listening to his freestyle of drake pound cake with chyn.he killed it afro Hip-Hop way, the way drake,and jay z killed it.Then i bought the album and,i couldnt skip a track.Karishika,the remix,clap,CELEB gf,chardonnay music,workaholic were my fav.No,strong language.Kept it simple.No commercial pangolo music.Knew what he wanted,and,went,straight and delivered. i also loved the,chemistry with poe and sess.The trio should make project.it would be a Kendrick Lamar and,j,cole kinda… Read more »

@LanreO_O
@LanreO_O
4 years ago
Reply to  Emy

i feel you on this..... pound cake just did it for me.... well said

Emmanuel
Emmanuel
4 years ago

@mayowa @geedolz 124 best album 2015 is runtown album f ollowed by wandecoal thank you guys ....go grab your copy real quick!!!!

Dat Naija Guy
Dat Naija Guy
4 years ago
Reply to  Emmanuel

Sorry Wande Coal's album does not really make the cut for me. There are some bangers on it but nothing extraordinary.

@geedolz124
4 years ago
Reply to  Emmanuel

wande coal made noise...the best track on his album is falz's skit. runtown just had an okay debut album with some cool songs...u need to listen to on a spaceship by burna

Lemo93
Lemo93
4 years ago
Reply to  @geedolz124

In my opinion, Wande Coal's album is the best so far this year. None can beat that WANTED album. i was disappointed with Runtown's album (only 2 or 3 good tracks) and goes for Falz as well (2 or 3 good tracks) .

Lemo93
Lemo93
4 years ago
Reply to  Emmanuel

Runrown? Lol bruh even Falz album is better than that Runtown's album. No doubt, WANTED album is #1. WC for the ladies ............

mixturez
mixturez
4 years ago

I concur with the review. Falz will be here for a while He is consistent. I hope POE, SDC, put in work too.. We need lyrics and flows we can r vibe too.

Ade
Ade
4 years ago

For once, notjustok got it right with their reviews..Gotta love Falz. He has the best album this year so far to me - unique beats, amazing lyrics and just fresh from the usual Nigerian stuff I here everyday. Notjustok missed out Soft Work which is one of the top songs of the album.

OMO
OMO
4 years ago

bahd guy indeed 9.5/10 for me. Excellent collaborations and the instrumental success with every song is shining through as well as his story telling. I am impressed, more than most rap albums so far aside from jagz.

Lemo93
Lemo93
4 years ago

8/10? But y'all rated Wande Coal's album a 5? Lmaooooo y'all clowning for real. I have nothing against Falz, but this album is a 5 if not less. My fav tracks are "soft work" and "Soldier" ft Simi. Notjustok what's your criteria for rating albums? I'm really curious cause y'all's ratings seems to be logy.

TBENIZA
TBENIZA
4 years ago

Falz is really taking this music thing to anoda level

nelz
nelz
4 years ago

the album is bad as in a very good bad album. evry song on d album is a hit................Falz is the man.

moscovic
moscovic
4 years ago

Haven't really listen to the album, but from what I know, I think the diversity which touched on virtually every aspect of life, different music styles & use of language are standout aspects. With that I think 8 is a worthy score. A few award winning tracks on it plus the album itself.