Album Review: Burna Boy – Love Damini
Album Review: Burna Boy – Love Damini: Burna Boy’s first album was released almost a decade ago, but only in the past few years has the Grammy-winning Nigerian artist become widely celebrated for his blend of Afrobeats, dancehall, rap, and R&B. Love, Damini (“That’s how I like to sign all my letters … It’s a bit personal”) is Damini Ogulu’s sixth studio album and a chance for his fans to step into his mind and heart on this ruminative project.
The album’s lead single, Last Last, is an emboldening heartbreak song, thanks to Burna’s earnest vocals and lyrics. He reflects on a bygone lover: “She manipulate my love oh.” It’s a great example of how to sample from the 2000s: he makes Toni Braxton’s He Wasn’t Man Enough for Me his own. The smooth, seductive vocals of Whiskey are layered on top of tender guitar and horns, while the eerie atmosphere of Cloak & Dagger sets the stage for J Hus’s distinctive poetic flow.
Though Burna has always subtly weaved elements of pop into his music, it feels too omnipresent in the second half of the album. Ed Sheeran makes an appearance on For My Hand, and while the two harmonize well together, the easy melody and textbook lyrics make it mawkish. The same can be said about Wild Dreams, featuring Khalid; the drab piano arrangement here quells an otherwise fruitful album.