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    A review of Simi's album 'Lost & Found'

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    ‘Lost & Found’ connects through songs that offer the rush of nostalgia that endeared listeners to Simi‘s music.

    Like most artists whose success preceded the streaming era-aided Afrobeats’ global surge, Simi had to find her place in the scheme of things.

    With the Nigerian music soundscape evolving courtesy of a younger listener base and a global audience servicing Afrobeats commercial surge, Simi’s last album struggled to fit into the fast-changing era as it neither connected to a young listener base nor carried cross-over appeal.

    It’s the desire to find her place in the scheme of things without losing touch with the essence that drives her music that informs Simi’s fifth album ‘Lost & Found’.

    For her new album, Simi takes a journey back to rediscover her endearing RnB melodies and heartfelt exploration of love and passion with which she won the hearts of listeners.

    Although Simi has evolved into a wife and mother who has shed off the “good girl next door” persona for a slightly more sexy and confident outlook, her music still leans towards her earlier offerings.

    She balances both sides on ‘Lost & Found’ through music that’s nostalgic of her brilliant self-titled debut and tracks that showcase evolution both artistically and brand-wise.

    The ballads that hold up her distinctive vocals shine in the eponymous opener where she finds beauty in her imperfection in a display of growth and self-awareness.

    Simi’s RnB melodies that bring together listeners of all ages through writing that connects and is free of vulgarities and sexual innuendoes earned her the good girl next door tag. She takes listeners back to the days of ‘Simsola’ with Afro-RnB cuts like ‘All I Want,’ ‘One on One,’ and ‘RnB Love’.

    Simi’s journey to self-discovery sees her reconnect with long-term collaborator Falz with whom she formed one of Afrobeats’ most iconic duo. The bouncy ‘Borrow Me Your Baby’ sees Simi and Falz evoke the nostalgia of the couple that never was that gripped Nigerians. She links up with Ladipoe for a second installment of their hit collaboration ‘Know You’ which while it doesn’t hit the level of their first offering was a suitable addition to the album. It’s nostalgia that informs her homage to Nigerian Juju music icon Chief Commander Ebenezer Obey by borrowing from his classic ‘Olomi Gbo Temi’ on ‘Jowo’. While the record does roll back the years and adds variety to the album, listeners will be divided if it was a good use of the Juju legend whose beat-down vocals reflect his age. Some may opine, including this writer, that the homage could have been paid without having the Chief Commander’s vocals on the record as we have recently seen on several Afrobeats records such as Tems ‘Love Me Jeje’ that pay tribute to the Seyi Sodimu’s classic and Adekunle Gold‘s ‘Rodo’ that celebrates Musiliu Ishola‘s Apala classic ‘Soyoyo’.

    While Simi chose to deliver the type of music that earned her success she also attempted to make music that captured the current soundscape through collaborations with artists like Lojay who lends his stellar melodies on ‘Miracle Water’ and Bella Shmurda who felt at home on the Afro-swing record ‘Alafia’.

    Simi’s evolution into a bold sexy mother and wife is evident in records like the mid-tempo bounce of ‘Gimme Something’ and the strings and percussions of ‘Romantic Therapy’ that is charged with sexual innuendoes.

    Simi’s artistic growth sees her collaborate with female music stars she has always admired but failed to work with because of the peculiarities of the female arm of the Nigerian music industry. If ‘Messiah’ doesn’t offer the best of Simi and the legendary penmanship and vocals of Asa, it is a landmark moment of female superstar collaboration that has strikingly been missing in Nigerian music. Similarly, while ‘Men Are Crazy’ seems like a tame and petulant offering from the profile of Tiwa Savage and Simi, the long overdue moment of collaboration it marks can be appreciated.

    ‘Woman to Woman’ is the brilliant female empowering record that holds up Simi’s feminist-leaning and her status as a talented star in a male-dominated industry. It’s what ‘Messiah’ tries to be and ‘Men Are Crazy’ fails to be.

    Overall, ‘Lost & Found’ connects through songs that offer the rush of nostalgia that endeared listeners to Simi’s music while showcasing flashes of artistic evolution. And while the album doesn’t carry songs that seem capable of replicating the commercial success she enjoyed with pre-streaming era hits, it does reflect her current position in her career.

    0-1.9: Flop

    • 2.0-3.9: Near fail

    • 4.0-5.9: Average

    • 6.0-7.9: Victory

    • 8.0-10: Champion

    Pulse Rating: /10

    Album Sequencing: 1.5/2

    Songwriting, Themes, and Delivery: 1.5/2

    Production: 1.5/2

    Enjoyability and Satisfaction: 1.4/2

    Execution: 1.5/2

    TOTAL – 7.4

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