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Reviews

Burna Boy – “Love, Damini” Album Review

Love, Damini

Burna Boy

  • Genre: Worldwide
  • Release Date: 2022-07-08
  • Explicitness: explicit
  • Country: NG
  • Track Count: 19
  • ℗ 2022 Spaceship Entertainment Ltd.

On July 8th, 2022, Nigerian Afrobeats star and Grammy Award winner Burna Boy returned with his sixth studio album, “Love, Dlamini.” At the beginning of the year, Burna hinted that he would be releasing another album this year. He had previously won his first Grammy Award following a second nomination. His win was celebrated across Africa and the world.

Burna has since been on a global tour that made stops in Paris and also saw him become the first African artist to sell out Madison Square Garden. Burna also recorded another milestone when he performed his latest hit, “Last Last,” at the 2022 Billboard Music Awards. He has been hailed as one of Africa’s best performers.

Following much promotion, Burna released “Love, Dlamini” on Friday, July 8. The reception for the project has been massive. The project became an instant success catapulting him to number 3 on the Global Digital Artist Ranking, the highest for any African artist ever.

Like his previous Grammy-winning album, “Twice As Tall,” “Love, Dlamini” sees Burna baring his soul and making his most profound thoughts into music. He presents the troubles of his country and hometown and sings about his fears as an accomplished musician. The album can be described as Burna’s story, told from his lips, and crafted into hits.

Artwork

Burna Boy – &Quot;Love, Damini&Quot; Album Review, Yours Truly, Reviews, February 9, 2023
“Love, Dlamini” Cover Art

Proving how personal the album is to him, the official cover art for “Love, Dlamini” features Burna pictured behind two birthday cakes with lit candles on top. Did we mention he turned 31 six days before the album’s release? Burna stares into the lens like he’s taken birthday photos a million times and would want to be done with it already. The cover art was unveiled three days before the album was released. It depicts a softer side to the Grammy winner, fondly called “African Giant.”

Features

Burna Boy enlisted several talents to collaborate with him on “Love, Dlamini.” The album features two of the world’s biggest hitmakers, J Balvin, Ed Sheeran, and Khalid. It also features contributions from the iconic South African band Ladysmith Black Mambazo. Jamaican star Popcaan and British rapper J Hus also contribute to the project. Burna also taps rising Nigerian talent Victony to join him on an Amapiano-inspired track, “Different Size.”

Before the album dropped, Burna joined Ed Sheeran at his sold-out Wembley stadium concert, where they performed their collaboration “For My Hand” together for the first time. The same night, he became the second African artist to perform at Wembley. A music video for the song was released on the same day the album dropped.

Burna Boy – &Quot;Love, Damini&Quot; Album Review, Yours Truly, Reviews, February 9, 2023
Ed Sheeran Instagram

 

Burna Boy – &Quot;Love, Damini&Quot; Album Review, Yours Truly, Reviews, February 9, 2023
J Balvin Instagram

 

Burna Boy – &Quot;Love, Damini&Quot; Album Review, Yours Truly, Reviews, February 9, 2023
Victony Outlaw

The tracks “Cloak And Dagger” featuring J Hus and “Wild Dreams” featuring Khalid have been hailed fan-favorite songs since the album dropped. Ladysmith Black Mambazo assists in opening and closing the album. American artists Blxst and Kehlani appeared as guests on the project. Burna successfully maintained his kingdom despite the quality of talent that collaborated with him on the album.

Popular Tracks

A few songs on “Love, Dlamini” were released as singles before the project was released. “Kilometre” was released in April 2021, and on May 12, 2022, “Last Last” dropped. Both songs are featured on the album. “Last Last” has been called one of his best releases. It marked Burna’s highest-charting song as a lead artist on UK’s Official Singles Chart. It peaked within the top 15 in the second week of July. He performed the song at the 2022 Billboard Music Awards.

Following his performance of “For My Hand” with Ed Sheeran, fans shared how much they anticipated the song’s release. Collaborations with Khalid, J Hus, and Victony trended on social media following the album’s release. All 19 tracks from the project charted within the top 20 of the Nigerian iTunes chart.

Production & Vocal Delivery

Burna Boy tapped the talents of Nigeria’s top producers, including Chopstix and more, to work with him on “Love, Dlamini.” Ruuben, Mds, and Off & Out are also credited as producers on the album.

As expected, Burna bagged an A+ for his vocal delivery in the album. Burna basically sinks into each song and dominates it. He has mastered the art of blending popular music genres into his music which he describes as Afro-Fusion. No doubt, whether he is performing live or recording in the studio, Burna’s vocals remain the same.

Tracks

NO Title Time
1 Glory (feat. Ladysmith Black Mambazo) 3:51
2 Science 3:21
3 Cloak & Dagger (feat. J Hus) 3:31
4 Kilometre 2:32
5 Jagele 3:02
6 Whiskey 3:23
7 Last Last 2:52
8 Different Size (feat. Victony) 3:29
9 It’s Plenty 3:36
10 Dirty Secrets 2:31
11 Toni-Ann Singh (feat. Popcaan) 2:55
12 Solid (feat. Blxst & Kehlani) 3:15
13 For My Hand (feat. Ed Sheeran) 2:39
14 Rollercoaster (feat. J Balvin) 3:07
15 Vanilla 2:35
16 Common Person 3:30
17 Wild Dreams (feat. Khalid) 3:06
18 How Bad Could It Be 4:57
19 Love, Damini (feat. Ladysmith Black Mambazo) 2:22

Summary

“Love, Dlamini” is Burna Boy’s love letter to his fans worldwide. The Nigerian and global superstar proved to the world that he could grab their attention with another full-length album following his celebrated Grammy win. He tapped the best artists in the world to join him on it, and together, they created a true masterpiece. “Love, Dlamini” does not sound like a Grammy-targeted album like “Twice As Tall,” but it clearly tells Burna’s story as a star and as an African.

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