- Vancouver, British Columbia - I love getting requests, and so I was pretty happy with being approached to review the first of Tunde Olaniran's series of EPs. Firstly though, what’s with the cover art dude? Are you trapped in some cobwebs? Are you trying to hide under Mr. Snuffleupagus’ grandpa? Anyway, I’m sure you’re a nice bloke, so if you’re expecting a review full of praise and aren’t keen on criticism, maybe you should turn back now.
“Cobra” kicks off the EP with the sound of someone beating a steel drum with a kitchen whisk. Olaniran asserts early on that he’d hate to have to follow tough acts, and with this generic R&B singing, I don’t blame him. He’s not bad, but the uninspired synth accompanying him is grating on my nerves. And apparently the hood is pulling up to his crib and…doing something. By a minute and a half, I’m getting kind of irritated. At least he’s got some interesting percussion; I think that’s an Indian drum. But it’s not enough to save this song.
“User Manual” features Miz-Korona, a rapper and actress who was in 8 Mile. But I’m really not sure where she is in the track, and if I should care. I’m sorry but this synth loop is driving me nuts. There’s not even some interesting percussion to save this song from it’s amazing mediocrity.
A digital ‘eenie meenie miney mo’ greets my ears with “Tiger Balm.” I hate it. A lot. Oh, but suddenly some electric guitar comes in and I feel immense relief. But still more of that bland synth looping. I really do need more instrumentation than this. Again, Olaniran can hold a note, and demonstrates that here, but it’s amazingly generic. He sounds like all those poor saps who try to imitate Usher to impress their girlfriends.
Finally, just because we can’t quite get enough of it, is a remix of “Cobra” by Chris De Luca. It’s actually not half bad. A little spastic, but not terrible. There’s some odd experimentation going on in here, and while I won’t go on the record by saying it’s good, I will say that it’s not as bland as the rest of this EP.
Okay. Here’s what really irritates me. In the Bandcamp write up about this EP, Olaniran claims this music blends dance, electro, hip-hop, and rock. It’s not nearly upbeat and energetic enough to qualify for dance and hip-hop, it has almost no qualities of rock, and it doesn’t fight Spider-Man. It might be what the street gang that Spider-Man arrests for shoplifting are listening to.
He then goes on to say that the release finds parallels to Santigold, Robyn, Kraftwerk, and Prince. Excuse me? Are you out of your mind? First, I had to look up Santigold (and I’m very embarrassed I hadn’t heard of her), and I can’t believe there would be any comparison with her astounding New Wave / Reggae blend. As for Robyn…are you pulling names out of a hat? Please explain how you sound anything like her (and her lovely voice). And it takes enormous balls to compare yourself to Kraftwerk and Prince. Kraftwerk were pioneers, and just because you can loop a couple synth tracks together doesn’t even put you on the same plain as those crazed guys. Don’t even get me started on the Prince comparison.
Is this music awful? No. It’s just really really bland. But based on the lyrics and this shameless self-promotion, I question the size of your ego.
Thanks for introducing me to Santigold though.
PS. Maybe I have no taste! Check him out on Bandcamp if you’re so inclined.
Steve’s Track Picks
Rating: 1/5 Sour Grapes