On the surface, Just in Love is an okay album with some decent songs. My biggest problem is that it could’ve been even better should he have included some of the songs he released earlier this year.
Same Old Otile
When the album dropped earlier this month, Mr Jacob said that we were to experience a musical feast and to expect nothing but flames. He also expected to win over new fans with this album as the vibes are different from what many are used to.
Yeah, he lied.
As far as vibes go, it’s pretty much the same thing. If you are familiar with his old songs, you’re not going to get anything new out of this album. Everything from the production to Otile’s delivery and general vibe is the same. It’s your typical case of rinse and repeat formula.
What actually bothers me is how Otile managed to use the same Afrobeat drum loops in almost all his songs. I kid you not. It gets better. I actually found a sample Afrobeat drum loop on the internet which sounds exactly the same with what Otile uses in his songs. Have a listen on my video review.
There are some few exceptions such as Hit and Run, which was produced by Magix Enga, and the reggae-infused Umedamshi.
I do realize that I’m being nitpicky but you can’t fail to notice these flaws after listening to the album more than two times.
An Okay Experience
What about the lyrics? Are they any good? Yes they are. There are moments where he uses some questionable lyrics such as “Come cure my erection?” but it doesn’t happen too often.
My only issue with the lyrics is how they are delivered. Just in Love is so uneven when it comes to its delivery that you’ll lose interest by the time you get to track #8. It’s actually counterintuitive as it only has 10 tracks lasting only 36 minutes. While it sounds brief on paper, it feels even longer when you have a listen.
Watoto na Pombe is the highlight of this album only because of Mejja. He is the only reason why I like the song. Also, he just makes a club hit fun to listen to. This theme of features carrying the song is a common theme with Leila, Regina, and Hit & Run. Speaking of the latter, I didn’t like his aggressive bad-boy alter ego. He stepped way out of his comfort zone in that song. If you were to ask me, Magix Enga originally made that song with Khaligraph Jones in mind and not Otile. I could be wrong but that’s how it feels.
As for the rest of the songs, they are just fine. They just revolve around relationships and club hits which is what you would expect from a contemporary RnB artist. I do understand that his music diversity is limited but there is nothing new to expect from him nowadays.
Poor Choice of Songs
Even when he does shake things up with songs like Hit & Run and Umedamshi, it’s not that great. These songs make the whole album feel just fine and nothing much to make it memorable. Just In Love would have been more memorable if he included some of the songs he released this year prior to this project. I actually wonder how Otile managed to compile these tracks into a full release because it has terrible replay value. And I would also want to know why some of his better hits aren’t here.
Why isn’t Aiyana in this album? Why isn’t the way you are in this album? And why the hell isn’t Quarantine featured given that it was released around the same time? These questions do need answers, Otile Brown.
Don’t get me wrong, it is not a bad album. My issue here is that it could’ve been better if he included some of the songs I have just mentioned. As a matter of fact, let me change that tracklist.
It is unfortunate for someone like Otile Brown to be making such a mediocre album. It’s doubly unfortunate when your album cover already tells you what to expect from it. Again, it’s not bad, but it would have been much better if he had picked the right songs.
In fact, I wouldn’t have complained if the album was just a compilation of his previous hits. But this is what we got so that’s on him.
What do you think about this album? Was I too harsh or am I speaking nothing but the truth? Let me know in the comments below. Of course, you can check out written reviews on my blog. I’ll be reviewing the top 40 songs in Kenya right now for the month of June.