Tiwa Savage Consolidates Gains With Sugarcane

Mavin’s First Lady, Tiwa Savage, surprised us with her new project, Sugarcane.

On the album cover, she looking girlie in a sugarcane plantation. Blessed with a good stature and an ageless body, Ms Savage’s good voice and recent good fortunes in her musical career is some solace for the recent murky waters with her estranged husband and former cheerleader.

2017 has been a good year for Ms Savage. Her All Over single has been enjoying massive radio rotation. The release of her Sugarcane EP can only consolidate the success of the previously released single and serve as a teaser for her anticipated third album.

With the eponymous song as gambit, its rhythm and tempo similar to Kiddominant-produced hit song, Davido’s Money, Sugar Cane is a sultry and suggestive love song referencing another humongous phallic metaphor. Sugar Cane is not entirely a new reference in Nigerian music (even if it is not the preferred).

Harry Rosco’s 1981 hit song, Sugar Cane Baby, is fittingly directed at the recipient of sugar cane. Ditto for Jesse Jagz’s 2010 Sugar Cane Baby off his brilliant Jagz of all Trade debut. 36 years and 7 years respectively after, Tiwa Savage is re-directing our attention to the sugarcane, singing melodiously and achingly about the possibilities of an amorous relationship catalysed and enhanced by sugarcane. This is an improvement over previous deployment of the metaphor. Not only is sugarcane subtle (and actually sweet) compared to Banana, Kondo and Cassava.

As expected with an EP, Sugarcane pushes Tiwa Savage’s sound in a myriad of directions so that different songs inhabit different sounds. Get It Now is another love song although of a slower pace, tempo and contemplation.

Me and You simultaneously nods at Dancehall and House. An interesting sonic experiment, it is yet again, a love song about expressing insecurities and devotion within the confines of fast-paced rhythms and an assertive mash of percussions.

Hold Me Down is, expectedly another slow-paced love song contemplating desire and devotion.

This EP album is deliberately titled, especially if one listens through the ear drum of biography. Sugar Cane is a product, a drug, an emblem, a metaphor and metonymy all at once. There is a strong sense of addictive helplessness and a heart-felt gratefulness. There is an inward frustration and not much of a fight. Most of these songs reflect on relationships at polarised moments: moments of gratitude as well as moments of departure. There are also moments of devotion closely following moments of desire.

The songs are codified, stripped of personal references so that the songs can measure up to some anonymity and  universal appeal. Perhaps these registers would have make these songs more memorable. Perhaps the teasing nature of the EP is responsible.

Mai Lo features Wizkid and Spellz teaming up with Tiwa Savage to make a memorable mid-tempo song.  Wizkid’s drawl sets the song apart and perhaps the song would have been even more effectual if it was an actual duet.

The album ends on strong note nineteen minutes and six songs later.

Sugarcane is a deliberate attempt by Tiwa Savage to widen her gains and position herself for next year’s popularity rating. Being a popular music diva, she needs to best her peers to continue to remain relevant. Given this rationale, Sugarcane is as effective as her sophomore album.

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