by Wilfred Okiche
What good can come out of Terry G?
Not much apparently.
Only street anthems like ‘Free madness’ parts 1-900, ‘Akpako’, ‘Pass me your love’ and every other brain-dead concoction with a banging beat, energy levels raised to the power of a hundred and that damn bell clanging.
So hopes aren’t high for his new album, ‘Book of Ginjah’ released recently, right?
One needs only to revisit his last effort, 2011’s ‘Terry G’zus’ to derive the answer to that question. While it may have boasted the ubiquitous ‘Akpako’ jam, the disc itself was pretty dismal falling into overlong, wasteful and overblown territory.
This year’s ‘Book of Ginjah’ is no departure from the streetwise rabid style that has helped the artist/producer find fame and fortune. When it’s good, it is groovy. When it is bad, it is unbearable. These two extremes are the dominant moods that this disc, his 4th studio effort straddle.
It is good when you ignore the intro (and other skits) with the comedian Gordons and jump straight into the first track ‘Jump and pass.’ It is well worn Terry G; spitting bile at his enemies and urging them to take a long hike. It could be a prayer session – complete with babbling in tongues – straight out of one of the new wave Pentecostal churches that are unafraid to take the fight straight to the enemy. We suppose this review will be added to the list of things to jump and pass if he comes across it.
He finds new ways to say the same things but achieves different results. ‘Chop chicken and die’ is another one for the haters, only this one is so lame and dispirited, it does not hold any interest.
The groove continues with ‘Run mad’, a fabulous party starter that warns you immediately that you can only keep up with Terry G when you run mad. It is hard to argue with this logic (or lack of) but it is also hard to resist stomping wildly to this one. Other mind numbing claptrap to dance to can be found on ‘So high’ and the very current ‘Lantazonto.’’
Folks wondering if Terry G can do actually do something else may be drawn to tracks like ‘Na money kill am’ and ‘I be like your teacher’, two Afrobeat influenced songs that has him channelling the late Fela Anikulapo Kuti. Not bad.
He slows things down a bit on ‘Skimpolo love’ and ‘Can’t try me.’ While his attempts at singing score some unenthusiastic points for effort, he drenches ‘Love affair’ in too much autotune and ends up sounding like a Lil’ Wayne impersonation gone horribly wrong.
‘Lose control’ is another game party starter that happens too late to matter. By the time it comes on, the listener must have been numb from the horrid similar-sounding, morbidly mediocre beats and tunes that constitute the rest of the album.
At 21 tracks long, ‘Book of Ginjah’ quickly wears out it’s welcome after the first 30 minutes. Everything that comes after is plain unlistenable. And does this come as any surprise?
Terry G’s strong suits are power singles that keep you fast on your feet, gyrating and grunting to the free madness that he offers. A coherent album of decent music is totally beyond him, it is a wonder he keeps trying.