Nigerian-British R&B artist/producer Tony Njoku has always made it a point to make music that stems from self-discoveries and self-improvements. Putting together what is essentially an electro-pop diary of his inner thoughts and opinions, his latest album ‘Your Psyche’s Rainbow Panorama’ is an accessible artistic package for all music-lovers.
Drawing inspiration from the Icelandic architectural art installation by Olafur Eliasson’s ‘Your rainbow panorama’ and blending it with his own vast vision as an artist, the 14-track record which masterfully tackles stigma around mental, musical expectations and many other similar vulnerabilities is Njoku’s grandest project yet.
Opening his third studio album, with the live drums and vibrant electronica of 'NAIVE & APPREHENSIVE', Njoku quickly establishes his penchant for daring compositions ; something he carries forward in following tracks.
Whether in the violent grinding synths of 'FURIOUS', the glitchy, detached emotive quality of 'DISCONNECTED' or the abrasive arrangement juxtaposed with Njoku’s falsetto in 'GLORIOUS', there is a sense of brave experimentation, where each individual track telling its own story and highlighting one specific emotion – as the title of each track denotes- within the jumble of vocals and psychedelic electronic sonics.
From the bubbling synths of ‘BAFFLED’ to the jarring, haunting slow-burn of ‘DISTURBED’ or the soft rhythm and hums of ‘INSECURE’, there is an artistic nuance that shines a brilliant light on Tony Njoku’s ability to merge catchy soundscapes with genuine, relatable emotion.
While consistently managing to keep this balance that plays with depth of feelings and the fleeting nature of entertaining listeners, it’s on off-kilter track ‘CONFIDENT’ his talent truly shines. A musically and lyrically layered track- the highlight of the album- that explores the all-too-common aspect of self-sabotage in a person’s life, it is a monologue that somehow manages to comfort listeners through the triggering situation.
Njoku closes out the record with 'NOSTALGIC & APPRECIATIVE', where his emotional, gentle voice croons about magic castles and guardian angels, backed by the serene strum of the guitar, ending the record on a note of calm and tranquillity.
The London-based artist’s third album is a wild storm of thoughts and feelings that reflect his own personal stories while also welcoming everyone who listens to introspect on their own. But it’s not the occasional flaw – as certain tracks miss the mark by relying too much on the digitally-enhanced vocals rather the raw potential Tony so clearly possesses.
However, flaws or not, ‘Your Psyche’s Rainbow Panorama’ is a unique and deeply honest creation; an abstract artwork that cannot be created or re-created by anyone other than Tony Njoku.
Words: Malvika Padin
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