Amongst all the commotion between Brymo and his Former Label surrounding the album, we can’t ignore the fact that he gave us one of the best albums in a while.
Brymo is no stranger to making great music, but it almost seems he really fine tuned those skills in this album, and that’s attributed to his experience in music. 3 studio albums is no joke.
I thought of different ways to write about this album, and the best thing I came up with was to write based on how I felt after listening to Merchants, Dealers & Slaves. But before I go into that, let me warn you that if you are into “Pangolo” music, you know – noise, sounds made by someone who sold their soul to Lucifer and now has to avoid his nightly phone calls begging for a refund, don’t read this review. Just exit this page now.
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Music should make you feel, charge your emotions listening – reinforce or change them, you realized you’re not in the same mood you were when you started listening to it, which means the goal has been achieved. It’s almost like a spiritual experience. I think I had stars in my eyes the first time I listened. That was what Merchants, Dealers & Slaves did to me.
I wasn’t going to really talk about individual tracks, and all the tracks on this album are great, but some notable mentions are – Track 1 – Truthfully, which is romantic, and Brymo’s vocals leads the sensuality that the lyrics require. Track 2 – Money is the best song on this album. I said that because it happens to be my favorite on the album. If you’re a big fan of instrumentals like I am, you will appreciate this one. Track 3 – Dear Titilope ushers in one of the biggest hits on the album, which is Track 4 – Eko. Track 2 and 3 made me understand why a fan said this album reminded him a lot of Fela. You know there is no Afrobeat without jazz, funk, highlife and vocals blended with percussion. Brymo gave us all of that and more on this album. I bet Fela is smiling at him right now. We all know how great Fela is, and for an artist in this century to be compared to a legend, is a pretty big deal. Track 5 – Grand Pa is a track that talks about his Grand father and his Non-chalant way of living and now he is running out of timer because he is getting older. Another track that I really love is Track 10 – Se Bo’ Timo, which means “Cut your coat according to your size” The message that this song passes along is for us to know who we are, who our true friends are. So, don’t be fooled because no matter how perfect you think you are, whoever will praise you, will. The ones, who will criticize you, will. Even when you fall, you are all you’ve got, so get back up and keep on moving. Life is not that hard when you’re clear about your purpose and your priorities. And that’s just to name a few. This is not an album you listen to and skip tracks.
From what I read online, this is actually his third album. I didn’t even know he had an album before “Son of a Kapenta”, his second album, which was a pretty decent album but it didn’t get the publicity that it deserved. I’m not sure why he left Chocolate City, and a lot of us even felt like he didn’t reach his full potential while he was under that label, but now Brymo has chosen the perfect time to spread his wings. There’s much more to him than an excellent voice. This album is worthy of the praises it’s likely to receive, and has been receiving. Brymo has found it within himself to make music that’s genuinely beautiful, classic and progressive. I don’t think anyone has ever doubted him as an artist, I haven’t, but now it is even more obvious that Brymo is an artist with quite a bit to say.
So, as you listen to Merchants, Dealers and Slaves, close your eyes and float along because it is bound to take you to that place of eternity. There are albums that are ultimately just nice and safe, and we also have albums that will make you look up and say “Damn! That was freaking amazing!” Merchants, Dealers & Slaves is one of those albums.