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Davido, “A Better Time” Album Review

An avid lover of music with a flair for writing. A core hip-hop fan with a thing for boom-bap beats and bars.

"A Better Time" album cover.

"A Better Time" album cover.

"A Better Time" Album Review

Love him or hate him, there is one thing you have to give Davido his props for and that is, his unquestionable work ethic which has always seen him put out music consistently to satisfy his multitude of fans. Davido is well known for producing songs and getting featured on tracks by other artists consistently, so it came as a little surprise when he announced that he was releasing his third studio album, A Better Time barely a year after he released the prequel, A Good Time. In a year where fellow superstars, Wizkid and Burna Boy released undoubtedly great projects, the pressure was on Davido to match their feats or even surpass them. Did he deliver? The following paragraphs should do justice to that question.

A Better Time is Davido’s third studio album and the sequel to its predecessor, A Good Time. Consisting of 17 tracks, A Better Time is a fun-filled and joyous album with enough hits to get you hooked instantly on the first listen. A great combination of Afro-beat and Western Hip hop with vibes enough to get you shaking your head vigorously at the sound of every beat. However, like every other album, A Better Time has its ups and downs which would be discussed in subsequent paragraphs.

A major highlight of Davido’s A Better Time is the excellent songwriting. For someone who has been bashed for repetitive lyrics and inability to write his songs, this album oozes excellent songwriting throughout. Whether he wrote the lyrics himself or he employed the use of songwriters, credit must be given when due. Tracks such as ”The Best”, “Jowo” are testaments to the impeccable songwriting on the album. Excellent songwriting is something often overlooked these days when it comes to the projects released by Nigerian artists because Nigerians mostly care about the vibe the project emits.

A major highlight of A Better Time is the excellent beat-making for most parts of the album. Almost all tracks on the album were well-produced, although some tracks had cliché production styles. The production team did well to create an enjoyable album in which Nigerians would resonate with on the first listen. The production team consisting of Speroach Beatz, Fresh VDM, Kiddominant, L Jack, Ckay, and Napji all did well to produce an album to get Nigerians hooked on. Tracks such as “Jowo”, “Fade”, “Holy Ground” all showcased immaculate production. Kudos to the production team.

A major talking point of A Better Time is the fact that all hits on the album such as “Jowo”, “The Best”, and “Fade” are probably going to be classics in the Nigerian music industry because of certain lines on those tracks resonate well among Nigerians. Even underwhelming tracks such as “Fem” is a hit mainly because certain verses in the song resonate well on the mind of the average Nigerian. Such lines include “I dey live my life/man dey turn am to shoot on sight/ when be say na me dey give them life”. These lines portray the reasoning of the average Nigerian and it is a major reason why those tracks are bound to become classics.

"FEM" Official Music Video

On the flip side, A better Time is an album that lacks a basic element a great album must possess which is cohesiveness. All tracks seem all over the place on this album and they do not mesh together well. Davido might be a massive hit-maker but when it comes to making a perfect album, he has always fallen short in this category. Some tracks are incredulously out of place and examples of such tracks are “So Crazy”, “Birthday Cake”, “On My Way” and some other tracks which sound like filler tracks. These tracks make the album seem unnecessarily long and boring in my opinion as they do not fit into the vibe the album is meant to radiate.

Another downside to the album is some of the artists featured on the project. Some of the artists featured on A Better Time had no business being on the album in all honesty. Artists such as Lil Baby who gave an unimpressive verse on “So Crazy”, Nas, Hitboy, and Sauti Sol had no business being on the project. The features seemed forced and those tracks did not complement the album at all. However, some of the featured artists delivered and made the tracks they were involved in quite memorable. Such artists include Nicki Minaj, Mayorkun, Bella Shmurda, etc.

A Better Time is no doubt one of Davido’s best albums but it is far from being a great album in all ramifications. The cover art of the album also lends credence to this fact. The use of his son’s picture as the cover art does not cut it on this album. This is because artists who utilize pictures of their loved ones as the cover art of their albums often go into deep reflections, that is, the album is often sentimental and the artist is quite emotionally vulnerable at some point on the album. However, the reverse is the case for A Better Time. Davido aimed at making a fun-filled and upbeat sounding album which makes for an interesting contrast of what is expected from the album.

Spanning 54 minutes, A Better Time makes for quite an interesting listen. Serenaded with hits that will bring you off your seats at parties, it also contains some filler tracks. However, Davido did an amazing job overseeing the production of the album and he sounds quite good on majority of the tracks. Yep, it is certainly a good album but in comparison with other albums that were released this year, that’s for the listener to decide as music is quite subjective. A Better Time is certainly an amazing project but it could be a lot better in my opinion.

"A Better Time" Album Rating

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Fawaz Akintunde