After the excruciatingly painful flop of his first-ever album in 2020, after his known streak for being the king of classic singles, Tekno has made a remarkable comeback with his recent project, “The More The Better.”
Releasing his sophomore album, “The More The Better,” it’s been almost three years since the artist retreated to the shadows, fanning the flames of anticipation among Nigerians who speculated that “Tekno has fallen off” due to the regrettable release of “Old Romance,” an album that received more criticism than accolades. While his debut album failed to strike a chord with his audience, it does little to diminish the infinitesimal talent of the artist, who remains profoundly enmeshed in the alchemy of music creation.
As both a producer maestro and artist maestro, Tekno has been an impressive musical creative for over a decade, amassing a remarkable catalog of music hits such as “Wash” and “Duro,” while simultaneously crafting Davido’s biggest hit singles, “Fall” and “If.” The intoxicating cadence and rhythm of his music serve as the very heart and soul through which Tekno makes his musical elixirs.
The cold reception of his debut album, “Old Romance,” forced the artist to retreat into the crucible of reinvention, striving to shed the label of being solely known for hit singles, and instead, forge the path of an album craftsman. With “The More The Better,” Tekno has stoked the flames that once defined him.
In no uncertain terms, Tekno’s sophomore album embodies the rejuvenated spirit of his former self, the Tekno who always carried an elusive sense of purpose in his musical alchemy, only now, manifesting with the evident growth that his musical journey has embraced.
Navigating through melange of genres and styles on this sophomore album, one captivating facet of this masterpiece is how Tekno approaches the lyrical depth of his compositions. For those who have closely followed the lyrical narrative of Tekno’s musical odyssey, the question of his muse remains questionable. Yet, fervent admirers of the artist have learned to peer beyond the words and immerse themselves in the addictive elements of his music.
“The More The Better” is a captivating project produced with precision by creatives such as Fiokee, DJ Coublon, Selebobo, and the artist himself, a veritable musical savant in his own right, among a host of other talents. The album seamlessly weaves a rich tapestry of themes, encompassing love, romance, contentment, enjoyment, and self-awareness. It’s as if we’ve been transported back to the golden age of Tekno’s mastery, only this time, with a much more evolved version of the artist. Paying heed, one can unmistakably discern the growth within his musical realm.
Tekno slyly ensnares your hearing senses with Dido’s ethereal vocal sample from “Thank You” in the opening track, “Twice Shy.” He gracefully eases into the track, subtly preaching the gospel of self-consciousness, before seamlessly infusing yet another gem, African China’s “Mr. President,” intoning “food e no Dey/my brother water no Dey.” The album’s intro invites you on a captivating journey, coaxing you to embark on a melodic journey through the rest of the tracks, a voyage that will undoubtedly leave you spellbound. It’s truly amusing how Tekno steers his musical compass toward new territories, beyond the realms of love and romance.
The piano chords and the resonant bass log drums pulsate with life in “The More The Better,” as Tekno serenades in mid-tempo Afrobeats instrumentals about his insatiable love for pleasure, an inclusion that resonates with the everyday man’s desires. In only the second track, one cannot help but be awestruck by the amazing craftsmanship evident in the meticulously penned lyrics. It’s a departure from the expected, and it’s this very divergence that elevates this project into a state of excellence, showcasing a refined version of the artist.
With “Flashing Lights,” the third track, Tekno artfully melds dancehall vibes with R&B sensibilities, weaving a combination of passion and longing. This song, a testament to its own beauty, seamlessly blurs the lines between R&B and Afrobeats, reaffirming Tekno’s unassailable musical prowess and putting to rest any doubts that may have lingered following his debut’s stumble.
In “Peppermint,” Alhaji Tekno takes center stage, serving up a pop confection infused with exuberance, energy, and the hypnotic rhythm of log drums. This track exudes an irresistible allure, tempting the “Nigerian Chris Brown” to choreograph a music video should the opportunity arise.
The energy doesn’t wane as Tekno plunges into “King Of Pop,” a percussive symphony that melds a sample from Fela’s iconic “Shakara” with the spirited energy of Awilo and the mellifluous strains of stringy guitars. Tekno’s effervescent energy is on full display, proving his mettle as a master of crafting party anthems.
Tekno tempers his exuberance to reflect on “Peace Of Mind,” following the earlier high-tempo’ed tracks. In this mid-tempo song, he extols the underrated virtues of inner peace, casting a retrospective gaze on his humble beginnings and nurturing contentment for the inevitable ascent to his rightful place at the musical altar.
“Lokation” reveals Tekno’s romantic inclinations, as he croons about love, passionate affection, and the quest for his beloved in a log-drum-infused serenade. It’s whimsically endearing when he likens his lady’s bosom to a ‘pillowcase,’ expressing his longing to rest upon it.
However, old habits die hard, and Tekno seamlessly reverts to his party rhythms in “Pocket.” Here, he delivers a motivational sermon on the power of money, proclaiming it as the lifeblood of pleasure. For Tekno, life’s pleasures encompass enjoyment, women, wealth, and introspection. This track is a relentless paean to the joys of hedonism.
“Permit” oscillates between log drums, sprinkled guitar strings, and the timeless throb of classic bass drums. In this tune, Tekno preaches the gospel of love and the yearning to devote oneself entirely to a beloved. This composition captivates with its beguiling allure, earning a perfect 10/10 rating.
Tekno’s ardent affection for percussive instruments is second to none, as he unleashes “Borrow” with a flourish, the chorus echoing in jubilant crowd vocals. Through his vernacular-infused lyrics, Tekno celebrates the joy of contentment and happiness.
With this album, Tekno unequivocally proves one thing – that he remains the Afrobeats luminary who requires no features to deliver his musical message. “Regina,” featuring Ckay, stands as the sole track to feature a collaborating artist. Set against lush guitars and resonant drums, Tekno pours out his romantic musings, extolling the uniqueness of his beloved. Ckay’s honeyed vocals seamlessly complement the slow-tempo
track, which glides through the listener’s ears like a soothing breeze.
Tekno’s scriptural ascent reaches its climax in “Play,” where he nostalgically reflects on his current station in life, juxtaposed against the fervent prayers that brought him to this moment. Once again, he weaves samples from 2Baba’s “For Instance” and African China’s “Mr. President” into his lyrical narrative, taking a subtle political jab while retaining his spiritual roots.
The artist brings the curtain down with flair in “Can’t Chase,” concluding the album with an innate outpouring of emotions, lamenting his unwavering love yet firm resolve not to pursue it. He delivers the message, saying, “I no too like talking stage,” elucidating his resolute stance on matters of the heart and commitment.
From his debut in 2013 with “Holiday” featuring Davido, Tekno has traversed a remarkable journey in the music industry. He has consistently stood as an iconic musical prowess and will undoubtedly continue to do so.
His sophomore album emerges as an album replete with beauty, immaculacy, and brilliance. The flaws of “Old Romance” have faded into oblivion, leaving us with an impressive album that bears the unmistakable mark of a no-skip masterpiece. From the audacious utilization of instrumentals, especially the percussions, to the evocative sampling of Africa’s finest sounds, “The More The Better” stands as a well-defined album, an authentic reflection of the artist we have always revered.
Whoever Tekno perceives himself to be, he has unequivocally validated his position.