Album Review: What is Magical About BOJ’s Magic?
BOJ, short for Bolaji Ojudokan, has got an unmistakable voice. But this is not all, the Brrother also knows how to use his voice. You may see him as that weird dude with a scraggly beard but when he opens his mouth, something different happens—a transformation which he has chosen as the title of his first LP, Magic.
At 15 tracks and with a dazzling graffiti cover art inspired by newsprint and retro pictures, Magic is not just an attempt by Boj to insist on his growth as a musician, but also to reward his listeners with a more robust body of song. Fittingly, the first song on the album is called Magic and it is that delightful windy listen that has characterised majority of Boj’s works.
Boj has a cool icy voice that coos like a harsh wind against pliant vocal cords—but this is a tad too poetic. His fame rose when he lent his vocals to the hugely popular classic song by Show Dem Camp, Feel Alright. The less-told story of how he grew his talent by making and sharing music with his friends using available technologies is still out there.
That he studied Audio Engineering as a course in the university adds an amazing dot to his sonic credentials. He has put out a decent number of works (mixtapes and EPs) and even clinched the much-coveted Headies for Best Alternative Song, Boj on the Microphone, but his definitive album was elusive till he inked a record deal with HF records.
Lyrically, Magic is a bit of a let-down, perhaps because matters hardly stray away from visceral promises and corporeal imaginations. The album, Magic, might as well be called Magic Stick, because it emphasizes the phallic essence in a manner that is neither mild nor measured. Antidote, Gbesoke, Balance and most of the songs explore physical relationship, even the Falz assisted Cooperate still leaves the lingering thought about how bodies collude and the conversations that precede and end them.
BOJ is quite the singer and full marks must be given for his unique sound. Alongside musicians like Ajebutter 22, Tomi Thomas and Show Dem Camp, there is a victorious attempt at incarnating a sound that is at once antiquated, contemporary and cosmopolitan. This sound, when at its best, merges highlife longings with hip-hop assertions.
However, on Magic, the magic does hold for long columns of songs. The architecture of the songs and the sonic experience itself is seemingly soothing even when it is monotonous but lyrical dexterity is totally absent. These songs do not lyrically stray out of their comfort zones. They seemingly want to update experiences that are more ephemeral and pleasurable than memorable. Ergo, the wiggling of a buttocks inspires a lot of its lyrics. The splurging of money is reiterated for coercing bedroom consent. The gist is that this is music of exuberance, about exuberance and for the exuberant. Music about slipping out of your clothes. Music about being wild and free.
If this is magic, then it is one that we know only too well. Courting for sex, promenade and mating dance are pretty much quotidian experiences that do not often need to be reiterating throughout the span of an entire album and this is the only problem with Magic.