Elani has taken their sweet time to release new music. Their debut album, Barua ya Dunia, was released in 2013. Six years later, we have been blessed with their sophomore album. It is rare to see artists taking so long to release projects but who cares? We have a new album and they sound like they never left. Good times for Kenyan music.
Colours of Love is the second studio album by Elani. The band, consisting of Wambui Ngugi, Brian Chweya, and Maureen Kunga are known for their beautiful vocals and awe-inspiring RnB tracks. Their debut album, Barua ya Dunia, officially made them a national treasure. You have no idea how many people kept telling me to look forward to new music from them.
Now that it is here, there are a lot of positives to take from it. First, it is a perfect 12 track album and lasts about 42 minutes. Fans of Elani are a sophisticated lot so it’s no surprise that you need to have at least a couple of listens and background information before making your conclusions about it.
I guess that leads us straight to the contents of the album. Elani has mentioned in an interview that Colours of Love is an album that represents different phases of love where two people meet and fall in love. There are several colours to take note of here:
- Yellow: The two meet up and realize each other
- Red: They fall in love
- Grey: They have their first fight
- Black: They break up
- White: The two find their way back to each other and find hope
It is your job (not really) to figure out which colour is being represented in each song. As I said, there is a lot of sophistication about this album. At times, only one colour is represented in a song. It can be two at times. Let me just give my own examples (correct me if I’m wrong).
Nimejaribu is a song about the couple trying to move on after separating so the colour being represented here is black. White is represented in songs like Joto, Nangoja, and Forgive Me. Grey is somewhat represented in Forgive Me too because it talks about their fight. It’s not easy to decipher all of this as I’m doing here.
What you will focus on are the songs which are great. The trio does an amazing job with the songs. From the vocals, amazing production and good replay value, you will be sure to add some songs to your playlist. My favourites so far are Heart Beat, Maua, and Only You.
Times Have Changed
The album is great but there is a big problem. Times have changed since they last released music. We have Gengetone as Kenyans’ preferred choice of music. How is this a problem? Let me explain.
Gengetone is for people who are, for lack of a better word, simpletons. You’ll know what they are going on about within the first few seconds of the song; sex. I mean, there is nothing much to it. Given that I have been reviewing many Gengetone songs as of late, I have become used to giving opinions on my first listen.
When I sat down to listen to Colours of Love for the first time, I couldn’t make any conclusions because I felt I missed something. So, I had to do my research about what the album is all about and if there are subliminal messages. Then I listened to it for a second time and it was a much better listening experience. I got to appreciate the album more than the first listen. And it gets better with every listen.
What am I trying to say here? This album might go underappreciated by today’s local audience. While I’m sure that day-one fans of Elani still remain strong, it’s every artist’s goal to expand their reach. That is my only concern at the moment.
That, however, doesn’t change the fact that Colours of Love is an amazing album. Elani has done a great job with the album and I couldn’t be any happier. I loved the production, the background story of the album and most importantly, the music. Great. 8.5/10