Finally, a Kenyan album to review. It has taken me five months to find one; five months. Anyway, let’s talk about Kagwe Mungai. He is one unique artist; his kind of music is what one would consider the pop genre. Kagwe’s approach to making contemporary urban music is unique, which can act as a double-edged sword. Yes, it’s not like the kind of local music I’m used to but can Kagwe Mungai meet the high expectations he has set for himself with his album Spectrum? Yes, he can.
Spectrum is the debut album by Kagwe Mungai. It spans 49 minutes with 15 tracks. From what I’ve read, there are only eight new tracks; the rest have been released previously. Some songs date back to a year ago. The good thing is that all of these songs are new to me so I won’t be critical of how old some songs are.
Let me give credit where it’s due; Spectrum manages to have great beats in all of the songs. It is competing hand in hand with MDQ’s She (which I loved btw). Well done Kage; you did a good job there.
This is where some problems hurt his credibility. Don’t worry, these are just my thoughts on how I felt about the whole album. For starters, it is 15 tracks long; 3 more than the recommended 12. I’ll admit, it is long by the time you get to song #10. This is because the songs in the middle are just okay. The beats are what saves them; otherwise, I would be ranting my ass off about how he should have removed some songs from making the final list.
Also, I couldn’t help but notice him only crediting The Kansoul and forgetting about the other artists. I mean, weren’t their contributions significant? I’m just curious.
As I mentioned earlier, this is a contemporary urban album. Boxing it to this “genre” is the only way I can describe here. There is a lot of diversity going on in this album.
We’ll start with the feel-good song Good Times which I personally like. The song will make you want to dance. Nakulike comes next which is okay but it is relatively short. I, personally don’t like You Know This; I only enjoyed the beats. Ogopa Mungu is a great song with the choir-inspired chorus. Obi is a dedication song to the city of Nairobi. It’s just fine, nothing spectacular.
My favorite song has to be Pressure because it is so relatable to every urban Kenyan today. I felt that on a personal level. There is something strange that I did notice about Till the End. It’s like I’ve heard such a song before. I kid you not. Did he sample another song? I’m not sure. The one which I’m sure of is Lost, an introspective song that samples Demi Lovato’s Sorry not Sorry.
Other songs which are worth mentioning are; Unintentional, another song that I like; Super Seena, your typical club hit; Mama I made it, the song with the best beat drop I’ve heard so far and Bass, a ridiculous song. Seriously, the song ends with this line:
Feelings mwachie dentist
Wow. Just wow.
Spectrum is a good debut album. I like how Kagwe Mungai tries to push new boundaries with his music but then again it proves to be a risk with some songs not meeting the already high expectations. Making the album shorter would have fixed this. But what do I know? 7.5/10
Do you agree with me on this review? Let me know what you thought about Kagwe’s debut album in the comments below.