Disclaimer: You are welcome to have a different opinion about the album The Brother’s Keeper because this article is purely opinion-based.
I must admit that I was overjoyed when Chike revealed the date for the release of his second album, The Brother’s Keeper; after his debut album’s enormous success and the ensuing hit songs and features, the protégé of Boo of the Booless was planning to release his second body of work. His debut album was rated one of the top 20 albums to be released in the year 2020. The singer established a sound and pattern that are exclusive to him with this project, going beyond simply leaving his mark on the industry.
In contrast to his debut, the vocalist pursues a different path with his most recent project and explores not only fresh sounds but also songs that are rendered on different causes other than LOVE. He works with rapper Ycee and singer Azana on his project, and Flavour is featured on one of the few love-themed tracks on the 16-track album.
It would be an understatement to say that the opening tune, On The Moon, really blew me away at first listen. Chike’s ability in holding his own through his voice is demonstrated by his endeavor to adopt an amapiano sound without veering from his distinctive sound. The mix of his R&B style and the well-known amapiano offers his album a unique perspective from the beginning, and it surely made me expect something different, while hoping for his sound still in the mix (if you know what I mean).
On songs like Moving on and God Knows, Chike explores even more, gliding in the grace of the conventional rap tempos the songs emit and milking its element to fit his RnB vocal style. These two songs including On The Moon, in my opinion, are where he outdid himself. He demonstrates his continued ability to jump on any musical sound and sound like Chike while avoiding getting lost in the chords and musical notes.
Chike’s performance of love songs on The Brother’s Keeper is another superb talk on its own, much like any of the artist’s flawless love song performances. Tell Am, a love-themed anthem, captivated my interest while On The Mooncaught my eye, he almost seems to be saying, “Leave me to handle this love song thing”. When you hear Hard To Find, on which he collaborates with Flavour, you’ll desire to be escorted down the aisle as a girl by an Igbo groom dressed in traditional Igbo maiden costume. Chike’s Igbo combined with pidgin and Flavour’s Igbo vocals raise the roof in this flawless song, which receives a perfect score of ten out of ten.
I believe that the love songs are the ONLY reason I liked the album. His well-known reputation as a lover boy who sings about love leads us to believe that the majority of his songs are inspired by his experience with love and the yearning to have a meaningful relationship with someone, rather than merely going with the flow. You can connect with Chike’s emotions in Spell, Winner, and Bad, and you’ll see why he’s considered one of the GOATs of Nigerian R&B.
Permit me to speak briefly and inquire as to what Chike wished to convey on Zamo. I perceive a contradiction in his statements and would love to sit down with the R&B artist to ask why, despite what we all believed he stated in his single featuring Running to You, “You should know I got you/And you don’t need to get me too.” Why does he now need his “babe” to be there for him in the song?
Aside from the contradiction of his statements, the writer is perplexed as to why Ycee, a rapper, was featured on You Deserve rather than God Knows. Despite the fact that the song is a sort of pleasant collaboration between the rapper and the singer, I can’t help but cringe at Ycee’s initial struggles before he settled into his verse. In contrast to Ycee, who first struggled to stay afloat before succeeding, Chike is able to float effortlessly in his rhythms. The two performers’ chemistry on this song is a solid 4/10. God Knows, on the other hand, would have been the ideal track for the rapper or any other rapper to have joined in on because of its languid speed, enticing rhythm, and ability to create a bond between two musicians looking to collaborate. However, You Deserve won me over despite the rap god’s troubles, and we hope Chike makes up for it with a squeaky-clean video and a likeable perch at the top of the charts, possibly earning a nomination for best recording of the year at the next Headies Awards.
The Brother’s Keeper’s poor song selection and a few misguided tracks that left me constantly wondering what the bloody Mary Chike was singing about bring the album’s overall performance to an unimpressive level. He made a reasonable effort, but I still think his debut did a better job of keeping my interest from beginning to end than his sophomore, and that’s okay. You may find it to be a cool endeavor and give it a rating between 8 and 9, but this reviewer gives it a strong 5 out of 10.