Obongjayar’s Brilliance on Some Nights I Dream Of Doors [Album Review]

Obongjayar - Some Nights I Dream Of Doors Album Cover

The name “Obongjayar” may already be known to you. On Richard Russell‘s Everything Is Recorded, he was featured alongside Kamasi Washington, Ibeyi, Sampha, etc.

The British-Nigerian singer also collaborated with Chewing Gum creator Michaela Coel on a tune. Notably, he released his first EP, Home, in 2016, which featured the hit “Creeping“.

Remarkably, Obongjayar might have gotten more familiar with the Nigerian music scene with his third EP, Sweetness, where he collaborated with Afrobeats producer Sarz in 2021.

Sometime in May, the long-awaited debut album Some Nights I Dream Of Doors by London-based musician, Obongjayar was released. The project is produced by Barney Lister and J Rick. Some Nights I Dream Of Doors is the follow-up to his 2020 EP,Which Way Is Forward?”, and last year’s EP, “Sweetness”.

Obongjayar - Some Nights I Dream Of Doors Album Cover

“This album dives into the idea of opportunity and tries to explore what that means, what lies behind those doors, and asks if we’re ready for it,” Obongjayar said in a statement.

“The pursuit of success, what happens when you achieve it, and what happens if you don’t? What does success mean? The head, the body, and the end of a dream. Opportunity is looking forward, and in that lies the question of time. What is your place in it? To know the future, or to fully be aware of your present, you need to analyze and understand your past. It’s an endless loop that continuously piles on itself.”

Some Nights I Dream Of Doors Album Review

“Some Nights I Dream Of Doors” Album is a 12-track project that resonates with percussive music, trance music, and all repetitive gyrations that had a significant role in his upbringing. Obongjayar accurately reproduced their energies on the album.

Read along as we review the album, highlighting the strengths of the project while also acknowledging the unique and strong theme throughout the album.

Obongjayar‘s distinctive sound combines modern instruments with Nigerian elements, all of which are emphasized by his distinctive and gruff voice. This is all noteworthy on the intro track, Try, on the album.

Obongjayar - Try
Obongjayar – Try

Interestingly, Obongjayar is chanting while singing along to loud rhythms on this tune. Though his voice is unique and has a cadence reminiscent of rapping, the results frequently resemble contemporary spirituals due to his intensity and grit.

Nothing about “Message In A Hammer” is subtle, as the title would imply. A powerful broadside directed against the exploiters and villains around the world is delivered by the experimental Afrobeat track while riding distorted percussion and synth sweeps.

Obongjayar mentions that “Message In A Hammer” is about struggle and battling against the forces who take, steal, and rob from us while referring to them as thieves and murderers.

The extraordinary singer plays a driver in the gory music video who exacts brutal retribution on a gang leader in order to achieve this. This is the first single off the “Some Nights I Dream Of Doors” Album – a good way to kick off the album as we anticipated.

Obongjayar – Message In A Hammer

On the track “Wrong For It“, Obongjayar delivers a brief moment of comfort to the uneasy. He sings in a magnificent falsetto that permeates the entire album, “Stop trying to please everyone else, stop trying to cure everything.”

However, “Wrong For It” offers something more sincere than merely sentimental. Obongjayar‘s tone has a sensitivity to it that he relies on more on his record than on recent high-profile cameo appearances on songs with Little Simz and Danny Brown.

The song is so amazing and its lush depth is added by Nubya Garcia‘s saxophone, which has been processed via a rich synth preset. As you listen, a whistling refrain may be heard throughout – the kind of carefree whistling that comes with having an optimistic outlook.

This music is a heartfelt expression of humanity, a pause for thought, and a reminder to show mercy to others. To his credit, Obongjayar conveys the notion as simple and aspirational as he can.

Obongjayar – Wrong For It (Official Video)

On this track, “Tinko Tinko (Don’t Play Me for a Fool),” Obongjayar explores the fate of a failed relationship while writing from the viewpoint of a former flame. Notably, the kaleidoscope beat is light with delicate guitar riffs and dreamy synths while being heavy with funky layers.

Obongjayar‘s new perspective point is more confident than melancholy thanks to the song’s danceability. The amazing vocalist sings in falsetto, “Am I asking too much of you, my baby?” “Tell me the truth, I can handle it,”

Similar to how the song’s video inverts perspective. Watch the official music video of Tinko Tinko (Don’t Play Me for a Fool) by Obongjayar here

Tinko Tinko (Don’t Play Me for a Fool) by Obongjayar

Another track that resonates so deeply with its apt soulfulness is “WInd Sailor”.

This music is so overwhelming with windy and spiritual undertones that you may catch yourself teary after a listen. The track is a really beautiful moment to end a journey of life enveloped in soulful music.

Critic Review

Obongjayar‘s distinctive voice, which alternates between rapping, singing, and spoken word, is a defining element of all of his songs. His music has been dubbed “impossible to describe” since it combines elements of spoken word, Afrobeat, Soul, and Electronic music.

Some Nights I Dream Of Doors album by Obongjayar examines the concepts of opportunity and success orientation. Plus, the lyrics contain spiritual undertones, but they are not immediately associated with any particular religious system.

Anyone will tell you that setting goals and objectives is essential for getting the most out of life. But what happens if you wind yourself defining yourself by such arbitrary factors amongst societal standards?

Whether you succeed or fail, the road may be paved with difficulties, and it might be challenging to determine your position in the world.

Obongjayar paints a beautiful picture with this melodious project in a special and unique way – oh yes! Some Nights I Dream Of Doors Album sits up with the best albums of 2022.

You can listen to Some Nights I Dream Of Doors Album by Obongjayar here

Some Nights I Dream Of Doors Album by Obongjayar
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