This should be coming way earlier than it is but since it’s here, let’s rock it!
In what has a fast but procedural rise to the top, Omah Lay seems to have found this place among listeners with impressive lyrics and highly suggestive vocals, and beautiful imagery especially when describing intimate scenes. Another star in his pen game is the ability to merge various languages into his lines and ease them slowly without friction. The English and its Pidgin form as well as the indigenous Port Harcourt dialect. His ability to merge these languages and their varying language structure is a noteworthy ability.
Omah lay’s career had so far been built on sexual debauchery and sensual imagery, being as brazen as possible about it. On Get layd, he displayed such “unhinged”, especially on Ye Ye. An obsessive lover who allows himself to be completely finished in the arms of his love. The album begins on the same path as “bend you” and “woman”. However, amidst the love fest, there seemed to be demons lurking underneath waiting for the full moon, and the crazy rise to the top as well as pressure from external forces seemed to feed them the necessary bloodlust to rise. “I” was actually a taste of the war to come, a song about identity ironically sounding nothing like Omah lay.
Dividing the album into phases seems to be the best approach. Bend You and Woman (the song used to herald the album) are sacrificed on the threshold of love and lust to the goddess Aphrodite. Juicy lines written at the heights of ecstasy Rollin from his previous works make solid appearances. I is a little ironic as the song addresses Identity issues and sounds nothing like Omah lay.
This is perhaps where a couple of people listened and stopped – “it’s an album about women that’s all”- they deceived me. After the three songs, I also shared their sentiments and slightly dreaded listening to 12 love songs.
I am NOT A MAN OF LOVE
The next phase is another Trinity and for me where the album truly begins. I am a mess, Temptations and Understand rhythmically chronicle a decent from delusional highs to realistic lows. I’m a mess is as the title goes, a monologue of a mess-filled individual. The song is done on an easygoing tempo. A drunken mess dangling in emotional pH systems. With his unstable emotions, losing his very essence to the bottle, Omah lay says it all. 1:20 -1:29 however lits up the song in the usual Omah lay format. His consistent in-verse rhythms just add different vibes to his solos. His voice has a tendency of making solos very draggy and empty but those in-verse melodies add the needed spice and keep the song going. He’d do this a lot throughout this album as he’s done in almost all his songs.
In order to create balance Omah wouldn’t mind infusing vowels into words totally giving it a different form. Temptation as he calls it alludes to an anchor who’s held him firm, Loving him unconditionally despite his evident demons. This individual becomes a beacon as he waddles through the murky waters of uncertainty, insecurities and mental health poverty. It quickly becomes a delicate situation as this person becomes the S.I unit of sanity, if this person ceases to be present it’s hell all over again. Understand a few seconds later confirm my fears It delves into the resultant effect of a failed anchor, betrayal, distrust grief. The confusion, merger of conflicting issues and anger in the second solo from the government to the anchor is pure broken heart material. The befuddling situation rolls like hot lava into his heart and the ensuing bubbles birth the chorus under I no fiti under under under under. The stammering through the chorus? Super relatable. The simplicity of the beat ensures the focus is on the artist’s voice.
So from being a mess to finding an anchor to understanding and then not understanding.
Having caught up to where Omah lay is at emotionally, he takes us back to his roots and probably this is where Boy alone really comes to life. Now that his anchors have come to lose the demons charge out without control. The dip in sound and the ethereal effect only the violin can offer sets this one up. His voice clears up as his original intention begins to unravel he talks about his gory past as a marine base boy. Despite the years gone, he allows himself to always remember and never forget the sufferings and persecution he endured. A war that still goes on and would be told to the kids unborn. In Omah lay typical fashion he adds Port Harcourt lingua to give another dynamic to the chorus. This inability to forget is deliberate as the outro recounts his devotion to continuous remembrance of his Misery. The only time he is safe from these pulls however is on the road. His safe heaven is the continuous drive forwards most definitely a metaphor for his music career. His dedication to his journey is also for his safety. Justin Bieber opens up attention which picks up the tempo, Omah lay losing his vocal identity and it takes a couple of replays to pick where he saunters in. Attention is a little disappointing as a feature with Justin shouldn’t just be wanted on a song that just completes the album. The final song in this phase in the valley of darkness is the scariest of them all -Soso. Its multi-voiced ecclesiastical form and upbeat form distract listeners a little from the message. It’s definitely not a song to dance to but that’s what it’s delivered as. Soso heralds another turning in this album as while it’s crying out for help it does so In a very different from expected manner. It also shows his disposition to love and an attempt by the artist to rescue himself from a rather depressing album. Imagine dancing to give me bitterness wey go take this pain away. Lord have mercy.
How to Luv brings some sense of the lovesick Omah lay. In his petition demanding for complete faithfulness he openly offers none from his end. I get the spirit of ashawo, you must be faithful to me but I’m not promising faithfulness as a Porthartcourt boy. Tell everybody returns completely to the erotica. Tay Iwar should be flogged for how he started the song but then rescues it later and then Omah lay does the rest as he comes in.
Purple song is just a flourish nothing less, nothing more- an end to the journey of Boy Alone. The bass lines come in nicely. However, the song points to how inaudible Omah lay could get as various points in the album the words are hurried or mumbled and sometimes covered by the sounds.
Boy Alone serves as an expression of a young heart similar to 19 and dangerous, a complete outpouring of what lies within but that’s where the similarities between the two albums end. The book explores themes of love betrayal and desire however the tone in which they are dressed and the choice of words in addressing them separate these albums. Boy alone is clearly darker as he exposes the turbulence within his heart which stems from the broken and grey story to depression that exudes from this battle. . To Omah lay love isn’t a safe home, love Is war. The only place that is safe is the journey and even the journey of music he seems to be plagued by various hands pulling at him. His saving grace is the ecstasy that comes along
Hopefully Omah uses this as a Rehoboth and shoots upward from here.