Omah Lay is a moving train that cannot be stopped. With two blasting EPs – Get Layd and What Have We Done, he appears to have done magic with his debut album ‘Boy Alone’ just as he did with his past projects.
A fourteen tracked album packed with more solo songs than features, it is recognized for its nerves-relaxing aura and soulful touch. Omah Lay’s debut centers mainly on him speaking what he feels, what he has experienced with life and love, talking of his roots. The title Boy Alone can be figurative to represent Omah Lay’s mood while he must have been at the studio, baring his heart out.
In his album, we capture what we can perceive as a difficult phase for the award winning artist. One can’t help but wonder what he must have felt before or during recording of each track—heartbreak, pain, depression, vulnerability. He makes a mental effort to trap his feelings in each song as a way of convening his truth and unwrapping himself before his fans.
The most enjoyable track with the hardest replay value, which of course is a good thing, is Soso. You only get to enjoy this song if you are a lover of highlife. The song produced by Tempoe is a reflection of one of Omah Lay’s biggest influence in the music scene, Celestine Ukwu. Omah Lay goes on to give us a good time as he infuses his mother tongue at a point in the song. He talks of Soso, a girl he loves and beckons to her to take his pains away. Here, you tap into his bruised feelings at first listen. Tempoe was definitely in his elements as he did a make it highlife but with sprinkles of Afro-Fusion. The log drums, the whistling at the start of the song, makes it stands out. Soso holds lot of potentials to top Nigeria’s music charts.
There should be a ban for each time Port-Harcourt artists boast of their sexual prowess using words and lacing it into songs. Omah Lay acknowledges his girls in Bend You as he expresses carnal thoughts seductively using rhymes. The track oozes sex on a cold rainy day in Naija, a high recommend for a ‘Netflix n Chill’ playlist.
Understand was the first released single off the album and was produced by Tempoe, yet again. Omah Lay talks of his struggles with the thing called love, the heartbreak he gets from loving a lady despite the many sacrifice he did for love and for her, the betrayal of his trust by his lover with his best friend. He clearly doesn’t seem to ‘understand’ why he would face such rejection despite loving wholeheartedly.
For a song that reflects the mishap our purple boy gets with cupid, How to Luv stands as a house/amapiano genre with a club banger kind of potential. Is it wrong to say we are grateful for the heartbreaks that have pushed our boy into blessing our ears with these kinds of tunes?
The wrong move to have taken was using Recognize as an intro for the album when in actuality it should have been an interlude. Omah Lay regardless bodies the song as he talks of where he comes from; the Southern part of Nigeria, Port Harcourt. The song is less than two minutes and yet, bears the might of a three minutes track.
I, the second track off the album should have stood as the intro, but we’re not the artist and we can only stay thinking and holding our opinions to ourselves. I is a ‘motivate-yourself’ kind of song. Omah Lay attests to himself that he “cannot be nobody for life”. However, it seems like he drifts from the typical ‘aspire to Maguire’ to talking of him and his baby.
Life happens, you win some and you lose some. Never Forget is an emotional song that has a personal touch as the artist sings of the ones he has loved and lost. Here, he connects with his roots and taps from his musical influence even more than he did in Soso, where he sings in Ikwerre.
Safe Haven, Temptation and I’m a Mess are tracks that reveal the deepest part of Omah Lay and uncover a non-glossy phase for him. You’ll understand that beyond the glam, the artist might have struggled with his mental health and mental being. While Safe Haven is a song that borders on him loving his personal space and revealing him as an over-thinker, I’m a Mess produced by Niphkeyz describes the bore in everything for him—women, drinks, smoke, everything. Temptation will have you mistaken about the song if you judge it by its title as rather than be appealing and living up to its name, it reaches out to the people who have held things down for him through the hurdles.
An acknowledger of love despite it all, Omah Lay sings of love soulfully in Tell Everybody, he features Tay Iwar and together they make the song uplifting. He showcases his romantic nature coupled with his bad boy swag to swoon women in Woman, a third single produced by P Prime which was released off the album after the second, Attention where he features Justin Bieber.
The final track on the album is Purple Boy, a song that talks of love smeared with toxicity but still, a love song. Tempoe holds the highest credit for producing this track and few others.
You’ll listen to the album once and yearn for more listen, over and over again. Omah Lay will soon officially join the table of superstars who made huge success with their debut albums. ‘Boy Alone’ most likely will stand the test of time and yes, we have our purple boy back!