Before I begin, let me clearly state here that this review is very… very subjective so please read with an open mind. God bless.
With a new album on the shelf, Obiwon reminds us why his name stuck in the ears of fans in the first place. He entered into the music scene at the beginning of the third era of Hip Hop (Please refer to my 2012 article on 360Nobs to understand these eras). I can still remember SoundCity, Music Africa playing he campaign for the Thoroughbreds which had Obiwon on a Rap verse for weeks before releasing the video for “Street Hop.” Onyinye” was the next big track and by the time the album dropped, there was no doubt whatsoever that Obiwon has become one of the very few artistes that has successfully commercialized R&B in Nigeria.
However, years of hiatus left one wondering if Obiwon was all that and more. Has he also falling into the industry gutter? was he just another fluke? His “Rebirth” album was not as widely accepted like the others, save for some few tracks, we might as well throw it to the back of the shelf. Little did we know that God was dealing with Obiwon’s spirit!
It’s such a beautiful thing when the Lord wars with the spirit of a man, knowing fully well that it is for a good cause, the end of such man is made better than his beginning. Such was the case with Obiwon. He returned to the scene in 2012 with singles such as “Father 2.0,” “Testify” and more boldly declaring that he had switched places to become a minister of the Gospel. The “Gold Water” album is evident enough, even to the blind that truly, Obiwon had obeyed the voice of the Maker.
The “Gold Water” album is an undilluted, old-time-religion, spirit lifting and undeniable impact making collectors item. This is a classic, an ever green album… this is the type of album you will hear in some years time and say to your children (if Jesus tarries) – “These were the days of good music” [laughs], like our parents normally boast of the music of their time.
The heavy symphony is like the rush of Gold Water. It builds your anticipation of what to expect from the album. I was blown away by it and though, I hate to skip tracks when I want to really listen, I couldn’t wait to get to the next track. Anticipation was high.
2. Hail My King
It was the first time I heard the single which was released a day after the album was launched so I was listening with the album in mind. It had Eben, Kenny K’ore & Frank Edwards featuring on it so you know, it’s big! It was a good song but it didn’t quite cut it like a Mike Abdul or Ada’s dance track will do for me. While Eben was the encore in the track, Kenny K’ore’s attempt at rap was a buzz killer. We love the theatrical and Afrocentric Kenny K’ore better sir 🙂
Testify with Mike Abdul is a great Techno Pop song. You just gotta love it. Who knew Mike Abdul’s Fuji could blend so perfectly on a Techno Pop song? great song!
4. Father 2.0
♪♪”Halloweth be thy name… Halloweth be thy name.”♪♪ This track haunts me even in my sleep [laughs] …but in a good way I mean, it’s better if it is God that’s haunting me as David rightly puts it. Lovely mid-tempo praise song. At this point, Obiwon has started introducing us to the perspective of the album saying in a silent note; get ready for undilluted, old time religion kind of worship unto God.
5. Pour Your Love
Obiwon unleashed the “Gold Water” full on! He might as well as said in the beginning of the track – “I ain’t Joking, I really wanna worship God” – and when he said “I’m desperate for you Lord… Let it rain on me,” it wasn’t another fill-in line. He meant it and this he expressed when he added “Only You can do this oh God.”
6. Good To Me
This track is a wow! It reminds me of why we fell in love with Obiwon’s music in the first place. It had that traditional African folk music feel to it. How he managed to combine that with the heavy electronic synth that ran through the whole song, I don’t know but it beautified the song. The song sounded like what Onyeka Onwenu would have given us back in the days. Perhaps, it’s one of the songs she didn’t pick from God and so God gave this generation through Obiwon… Like they say, there are a lot of songs in heaven just waiting to be exported [laughs].
7. Father 2.0 [Remix]
It’s no surprise that Obiwon assembled such great MCs together, he used to rap himself. Really, I was getting tired of listening to Gospel rap music that are way off the Gospel …and the once that pick surface lyrics [Shaz’out to every MCs repping hard] then I heard this song and I’m like yeah! That’s the way it should be done! MadaRocka gave her male counterparts a run for their money but they held their ground. Their lyrics were profound and delivery was on point. The track had MadaRocka, Recky D and Tbos on it. Something about this song that puts you in a happy mode, you just want to lift up your hands in worship unto God.
8. When I say I Love You
Romantic and matured. Obviously written for his wife. One is made to see that Obiwon has not strayed too far from his R&B origin. Is Obiwon and Onyeka Owenu related? I mean, the voice texture, the style and rhythm! And oh! Obiwon revisited his rap root on this track… The brother still got it in him 🙂
9. One Voice
From the title to the song itself, the instrumentation to the lyrics, Obiwon is not just another talented artiste, he is a brilliant artiste who pays attention to details. You would wonder why it is “I’m standing tall like the Iroko” and not any other tree that is not grown on the African soil. Moreover that “Mama Africa” chant in the background is simply epic! So is the Igbo language infused into the outro.
10. Holy Spirit
Classic R&B. For a minute, I thought I was listening to R.Kelly.
11. The Price
This is my best song in the album. I keep picturing Jesus sitting on the throne and Obiwon performing while He smiles. It’s that kinda soft music you want in the background anytime your mind flashes back to your salvation experience. Towards the end of the song, Obiwon made a call for salvation. If this was the only song on the “Gold Water” album, I think God will still be pleased with Obiwon. He made a profound statement when he said “there is no life lived, except the life lived for Jesus.” 5 words – God bless Obiwon real good!
12. The Overflow
Obiwon finaly puts vocals to the theme song, the intro and let the “Gold Water” overflow. He featured Soluchi on the track.
This is one album that will fetch Obiwon some awards but none of it can amount to the awards God is preparing for him because of this album. God bless obiwon really good for bringing pure undiluted, old time religion worship in a time when most Gospel artistes are trying to blend into the “system.”
– Written by Alex Amos
Connect: @ObioraObiwon | @Alex_Amos