Love and Chaos is a beautiful project that would stand the test of time. The music is more mature. It finds the singer in a retrospective state, drawing out his strengths, and weaving out pristine lyrics while deploying the needed retinue of producers, backup singers, and featured artistes to make a solid body of work.
By Emmanuel Daraloye
In 2017, “Angela”, an R&B track by the Ghanaian singer, Kuami Eugene, dominated Ghanaian airwaves. The song was such a success that it became a massive hit in Nigeria as well, so much so that people assumed that the singer was a Nigerian artiste. “Angela”, which has been viewed more than twenty-one million times on YouTube, brought Kuami Eugene into the limelight in Ghana, and perhaps in other African countries, too.
While the song might have been popular, the artiste was largely unknown. “Angela” served as the lead single for Kuami Eugene’s debut studio album Rockstar, which the artiste swiftly followed with another album, Son of Africa, in 2020. This October, he tops his discography with his third studio album, Love and Chaos.
The fourteen-track album, with an array of stars from the UK, USA, and Nigeria, was released under Lynx Ghana Limited and Empire Records. Love and Chaos finds the artiste navigating the sweet highway of love as well as the murky troubled waters of life’s challenges.
When the album opens, one is greeted with bright and jaunty guitar strings. Kuami Eugene’s vocals follow this piquant solo play, as the first track, “Rags to Riches” begins. His voice is crystally pristine. The emotionally riveting track finds the singer in a hyper-reflective mood as he sings about his tribulations and triumphs in the music industry.
This track encapsulates Kuami Eugene’s sonic journey so far. Like a soldier, he prepares for the worst while in expectation of the best. “Rags to Riches” ends with a vocal cut from a fan who raves about the artiste’s sonic dexterity; she tops it up by revealing how the ladies love the singer; “All the girls here are just crazy about you, and tell the girls, we knew you before you became this big.” Starting an album on an emotional route such as this is a deliberate way of setting the tone for the lively and fun adventure that listeners will expect in the next twelve tracks.
On “Fate”, the artiste croons about his state of mind. The song finds Kuami Eugene in a constant battle with naysayers, and he ends by alluding everything to the place of fate. The honeyed vocals continue the beauty that was started in the first verse. The backup singers stress the refrain, easily flowing along with the song.
They say that life is fleeting, and Kuami Eugene takes this expression to heart as he sings about living to the fullest on “Yolo”. The guitar and ad-libs deployed here exceptionally uplift the track to a new height. The production is also heavily laid on percussion, giving off a Highlife musical energy. When the artiste sings “I fell in love, I almost lost my life”, the lines are relatable. As most people can attest, those who have tasted love sweetness have also had a feel of its vile flavour.
Guchi, the wave-making Nigerian singer, makes a commendable effort that buttresses Kuami Eugene’s points on “Energy”. Both singers promise to eschew negative energy in their life pursuits.
Afrobeats gives way to Amapiano on “Monica”. The R&B-influenced track finds the singer gushing about the beauty of certain ‘Monica.’ The log drum-powered production gets enhanced with the crowd vocal and brilliant ad-libs. I daresay that one of the strongest traits of Kuami Eugene is knowing the perfect time and place for an ad-lib in a song.
“Puerto Rico” is an experimental track. The artiste attempts to explore the Caribbean type of flow and sound. And while this is not his forte, his attempt is admirable. The up-tempo production is punctuated by sparse lyrics on this track.
“Cryptocurrency” sees the artiste teaming with American/Nigerian R&B star, Rotimi, to produce a catchy Afrobeats anthem that showcases both artistes’ lush vocals and melodies, tongue-in-cheek relatable songwriting skills, and impeccable musicianship, over an infectious Afrobeats soundscape provided by Kuami Eugene himself. The song currently has more than one million, four hundred thousand views on YouTube.
The love celebration continues with “Abena” where Kuami Eugene sings about his love interest, asking to take her out to dinner. The second verse of the song beautifully illustrates how this captivating interest makes him feel.
“Single” opens with a muddled vocal mix. By the time the artiste’s vocals come up, one can tell that this is a sad song, playing out the dilemma of a frustrated lover. The log drums reveal an Amapiano-like kind of production. Kuami finds it difficult to stay on the theme as he almost switches to party mode while singing about a disappointing love interest. The crowd vocals are brought back on this song, but this time, to give an angelic effect. The booming track “No Promo”, is full of expletives. No doubt, the heartbroken Kuami seems not to have gotten over his heartache, as he cusses his old flame and her new lover.
Mavin Records’ signed artiste, Magixx joins Kuami Eugene on “Best Part”. The love-drenched tune is a brilliant combo, with both artistes gushing about their lovers. An unnamed singer who takes the hook shines brightly, too, even parting the song. Magixx and Kuami optimally explore their strengths to give a beautiful melodious track. “Favourite Girl” serves as the much-desired support for “Best Part”, with a chest-beating production that sets the tone for the artiste gushing about the beauty of a certain interest.
“Anyway” is a ripped-off version of UK-based artiste, Ardee’s breakout single “Come and Go”, with the same tempo and lyrical route. The song is heavily pivoted on Drill music, and UK-based artistes, Weezy and BackRoad Gee swiftly show off their prowess on this track.
Kuami Eugene might just have released the best album to come out from Ghana. Love and Chaos is a beautiful project that would stand the test of time. The music is more mature. It finds the singer in a retrospective state, drawing out his strengths, and weaving out pristine lyrics while deploying the needed retinue of producers, backup singers, and featured artistes to make a solid body of work. It may be his third studio album, but it is perhaps, safe to say that Kuami Eugen has finally reached his el dorado sonic phase, the apex of his artistry that makes up for his time in obscurity.
Lyricism – 1.5
Tracklisting – 1
Sound Engineering – 1.5
Vocalisation – 1
Listening Experience – 2
Rating – 7/10
Listed twice by “Black Pride Magazine” as one of the top 5 Music journalists in Nigeria. Emmanuel Daraloye has over 600 album reviews in his archive.