Somehow I never got listen to fireboy’s discography as a body of work, just in bits. A friend after reading the review of Olamide’s album asked for a review of in her words, ‘the iconic L.T.G debut album of fireboy’.
In 2019, Fireboy Dml announced himself into the scene with a single “jealous” and the track spread like wildfire and the inevitable could be perceived, this was one talented artist. It also played into the Nigerian new found love for afro beat sprinkled with foreign touches and flair. From jealous to his latest single peru, he has enjoyed the spotlight as well as a throng of dedicated fans with organic love for his works. On YBNL, he was given the perfect platform to exhibit his vocal and artistic gifts.
His daring decision to release a featureless album is not just a testament to his arrogant confidence and belief in himself but also to his desire to coin his own identity free from external influences. This decision also gave Fireboy complete and superior control of his presentations. It allowed him to show us the varying version of Fireboy without having to adjust to accommodate any other artist. In a nutshell “laughter, Tears and Goosebumps served as both a statement of identity and an announcement of his arrival into the scene. The album is characterized by an unbridled sifting through varying tempos, styles and sound realms however united by the essence of the Album. His silky and smooth voice molded into various forms per track, couriering his heartfelt emotions and desires from his heart to the ears of his listeners. The captivating power of the album is ethereal and unreal with huge replay value. A massive Shout out to Pheelz for consistently providing Fireboy with perfect sound to express himself unashamedly. I dare say Pheelz went mental on this one.
The album serenades through various themes of love, lust and sensuality, vibes, confidence, the streets and desire. Reservations however arise surrounding the choice of the title, “Laughter, tears and Goosebumps”. Laughter is hurried and probably reference in one track, Goosebumps could be in reference to vivid sensual imagery Fireboy describes in many verses of the masterpiece whilst tears on the other hand seems almost absent(It could be a symbol of the desperation of his desire and want). One can also consider this album amongst the influences that bore Olamide’s diversification on Uy scuti.
In Need you, he like Andrew Marvell’s “To His Coy Mistress”, speaks as a lover possessed by desperation and love and in later line seeming obsession. The stylistic intricacy of this song doesn’t go unnoticed as he employs domestic languages and local lexis into his lyrics. He beats rather brash expressions into soft ‘cottonelle’ for his use. “Eko and moin,moin” and “irugbon” were eased into the song with his silky and majestic voice. The Acoustic guitar and rhythmic progression sets Fireboy in the perfect lover boy element. He hits a different gear in tempo with vibration. Vibration gives an inkling to the goosbumps essence of the Album he expresses adoration and desire in the song embellished with emphatic and erratic adlibs. These seemingly erratic lines suggest cotional activities and a lovemaking sequence.
“ Jo Fareedah jo”
This in turn sets the stage for the party, funky and even quicker Scatter. The song kicks off with an excerpt from the opening theme of The Greatest Showman movie. It embodies the laughter and joyous essence of the album. The very rare arrogant confidence uncharacteristic of a new artist slips through as Fireboy plants himself as the reason for the Scatter. Fireboy’s first single and the beginning of a dynasty follows after, Jealous. He slowly recedes from the highs of scatter and vibration . Once again the obsessive and ‘addicted’ lover resurfaces as well as a suggested acceptance of his unwillingness to abandon his obsession. He also adds his possessive ingredient to this obsession which forms the center of his jealousy. He has had a taste and he desires more and only for himself.
Energy comes as breather reflecting the mutual energies his lover and himself exhibit that fuels his love. A lovesick individual but still having grips on sensibility.
“ as I no be bolo”
He simply proceeds to show off his vocal prowess as he rounds up the song. Her energy remains consistent and unfailing and he suggests his potential departure only to return to her. Gbas Gbos is a Nigerian phrase which usually means a war of words, it however, serves a different purpose in this track. One, there seems to be a inner war between his dedication to his music and his desire. another has to be the frenzied tussle with his lover. Low waist could have served as a better title for this track but gbas gbos honestly served its purpose. The Keyboard soloing toward the end? Mind-blowing!The underrated King in which Fireboy details the regal path he intends to take on his love quest. He refuses to beg and desires to be treated like a King.
Omo Ologo, a glorious child, is one for the street. It embodies the upbeat tempo, the catchphrases and the “zankuable” beat of any song for the street. This one was designed specially for the streets. He cascades through the rest of the album bringing up already addressed ideas. High on Life, Feel and What if I say embody similar topics of laughter, party, emotions and a daring confidence.
He rounds up with a symbolic ‘Wait and see” a statement and a reflection of his life.
One man, one city, one night, one street, one journey, one dream, one chance, one opportunity.
To those who are waiting and scrutinizing him he tells them to wait and see. “Wait and see what I’m about to do” seems like the final words of Fireboy on the Album.
Two years on Fireboy has most definitely shushed his critics and haters as well as pleased his fans with his beautiful releases- Apollo is another gem of an album.
L.T.G remains ever symbolic as it earmarks the new era, a new sheriff is in town. Doing it almost on his own is a challenge that not many can match.
It also won’t be heresy to christen this album the best debut album of any Nigrian artist since Big wiz’s Superstar.
For Abe Taiwo,