By Tola Omoniyi
Reviewing the album Born in July by Frank Edwards.
Frank Edwards has in the last couple of years released tens of songs, and has recorded way more songs than he can keep track of. So his fans were not too surprised when he announced he’ll be releasing a new album on his birthday, July 22, 2017.
It is nonetheless imperative to note that this comes barely a year after the release of the record smashing 21-track ‘Frankincense’ album.
Now that album was such a pack. So much went into its production that a 3 year break from the Rocktown Records Boss would have been very well deserved. But no, the hardworking Frank is BACK… back with a new album “BORN IN JULY”.
This is not the first time he is releasing a music project on his birthday. In 2016, he released a 4 track EP branded Birthday EP, dropping a song each day from July 19, till the final track release on the D-Day.
However, there is something particularly special about this 8 track “Born In July” album. Mr. Edwards seems to have done this as a birthday gift to himself. This album must mean a lot to him. It sounds like one of those “I just want to do good music in my way” kind of albums.
He throws every form of caution into the wind this time, as he expresses himself in his own way, while flexing some experimental muscles in the process. “Joy” and “Champion” serves as a proof of that.
Track 1: Arrival
As an introduction to the song, he paints a musical, dramatic and emotional scenario of his birth. How his purpose was strategically designed by God, before sending him to the world. Then the hospital scene and how this baby ‘arrived’. But hey Frank, did you cry that cutely when you were born? LOL.
And then the classic music collage of some of his most popular tune in a smooth way that can almost make the intro serve as a stand-alone song of its own.
Track 2: Mojubare
It still beats me the way Frank Edwards’ Yoruba dialect in worship songs sounds so flawless. Mojubare (translated ‘I Worship You’) is a 4 minute soft rock piece with a very easy-to-sing-along hook. The instrumentation is nothing complicated – simple… and soothing. Piano, Guitars, drums, all played softly.
Mojubare is one of those familiar scenarios which you might have experienced before. Picture him on stage with his guitar or keyboard and a microphone right in front of him. Yeah, that Oghene Doh kind of feel is what you get with Mojubare with his signature pitches of course. It’s interesting how he puts in a bit of some old adlib into some of the songs on this album.
Mojubare is simply beautiful! It’s a perfect good morning song, something to start your day off with, in worship to God.
Track 3: Joy
Who doesn’t love some throwback tune every now and then? Joy is definitely one experiment I think Frank Edwards pulled off quite nicely. Taking you way back to the 80s, some goodie oldie. Groovy disco with a bit of funk, more like those Michael Jackson, Rick James and Kool & The Gang kind of sound.
The retro feel is unique. Here’s why – there is no Nigerian artiste I know that has tried this out before, and most of the songs I recall in this genre, don’t have this kind of lyrics; i.e. the joy you experience from the love of God.
Would this enjoy rotation on radio? Not quite sure. This is because it is pure ‘oldie’. In reintroducing old skool genres, you might need a little mix of today’s sound to make it fit into new skool media.
But like I said before, I believe this was done purely FOR THE LOVE OF MUSIC.
Joy is one of my favorite songs on the album. It is not a ‘grower’. It’s one of those tunes you love at first-listen, especially for those who have been listening to music for so long.
Track 4: Glad You Did
If you need a theme song for the album “Born In July”, here you have it – Glad You Did. The July born artiste shares his life’s testimony on this country tune, expressing his gratitude to God for loving him this much.
Feels like that romantic relationship when you get to a point where the other party is giving you way more than you deserve, while assuring you it’s all because s/he loves you? This time it’s Frank and God.
“I was a little boy roaming the streets, with no hope for life, but You came through for me. The devil tried everything to take my life, but You said, No No No…”
“You told me that you love me, that’s the reason why you did it for me. Now I know… I’m glad you did”
You know one of those songs you want to listen to at high volume, while singing along aloud, with your windows rolled down with driving alone on the highway? This is it!
Frank Edwards is obviously a sucker for Country music! From tracks like “Only You Are Holy”, “Na You” from his Frankincense album, to his recently released “Very Big God”, to name a few. Glad You Did is another entry into the Frank Edwards Country Music Collection (Hey, that’s not an album, it’s just my own compilation)
By the way, I love the way he wraps this number up in acapella style. Kudos!
The only song on the album that has a guest appearance – A duet with Ada Ehi! Good choice of artiste for a soft rock song, it’s her forte. And his as well! It’s not the first time they’ll be doing a duet together, but I guess it’s their first soft rock duet. The synergy is impeccable.
It’s a familiar Frank Edwards sound. You can hear the sound of him playing the piano, with some additional flutes and violin sounds to make it even more soulful.
Both artistes sing about the sweet, unconditional love of Jesus Christ; and how it makes them feel.
Loving the way you make me feel, like I’m sleeping on a bed of roses.
Loving the way you make me feel, so I’m living my life for you.
I must admit Frank does quite well with duets. I look forward to more of these. His duet with Nathaniel Bassey on his last album Frankincense titled “Don’t Cry” is one I consider one of the best to come out of Africa.
Track 6: Rhythm of Life (Jesus)
Born In July has all sorts of music genres. On track 6, he flips it up with old skool pop and Techno, with a mix of disco, in his bid to boogie to the Rhythm of Life (Jesus). It reminds me of some old Michael Jackson hits. Gosh! If only Frank could burst some of those moves, and put out a video to go along with this.
Rhythm of Life has his signature sound on it as well. Screaming “Jesus” the Frank Edwards way… By the way, this is the shortest song on the Album. Lasts 2mins, 47secs.
While I feel this song could be better than it is, in terms of its overall production, I have a personal bias because of the name he constantly screams on it – JESUS!!!
Track 7: Champion
Mr. Edwards reintroduces himself on Track 7 with some excellent Electronic Dance Music.
Forget his height; Frank is standing tall on this one. Pun Intended.
I love Dance Music. This is a good one! The chorus is very easy to sing along. It sounds like an anthem; call it the Champion’s Anthem. He calls his fans Superstars, so I guess this could work as an anthem for them as well.
The lyrics of Champion are full of positive declarations. It also creates a visual in your mind’s eye, so you might also anticipate a video when you hear this. But in the meantime, groove to the vibe, as you positively confess your Champion status.
Track 8: Logo
I have a feeling Frank Edwards added this at the last minute, but it is sure one good addition to the album, making ‘Born In July’ a complete package. Guessing what genre it is this time? Some slow tempo dance hall tune
This is another different from the multi-talented artiste. It’s yet another favorite for me. He juggles so smoothly between low registers to his signature high pitch
He brags about his Source on this number.
“They want to know the logo, na You be my logo we dey wan know.”
I rate this 4 starts. An excellent album it is.
Don’t take my word for it. Get the album and let me know what you think.
Download “Born In July” album by Frank Edwards
The Big Announcement
While still getting settled on the album “Born In July” and not forgetting the classic “Frankincense” music project released last year, Frank Edwards has announced he will be releasing yet another album in November, 2017.
According to him, this album is the real deal!
“These two?? And my main album for the year is out NOVEMBER ?? yes NOVEMBER let’s take it up ??????? guess title ? ”
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