Dennis Peter

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Crafting a proper debut album can be tricky especially when it’s the first project to be released by an artist. A lot of careers become negatively steeped if the quality of a debut album is poor. It is advisable these days that an artist release some kind of pre-album project, a mixtape or an EP. This serves as a test run of the artist’s ability and for fine tuning purposes.

Daramola (formerly known as D-Flow) has been involved in making music for some years now, noticeably his award winning production work for gospel artists, Lecrae and Andy Mineo. In that time, he’s also been honing his skills as a singer and his first body of work, Nothing Really Matters 1 of 2 released last year was a seven song EP. The EP held off the pressure that comes with an album and helped Daramola showcase his skills while he tested the waters. Nothing showed flashes of his talent but lack of urgency and depth in its lyricism was basically its undoing.

Daramola's recently released debut album, The Last Time I tried isn’t as mopey and nostalgic as the title suggests. Instead, it is a forward-looking with hopes to avoid unfavorable circumstances of the past. The album tries to carry its objective out without a back story and therein lies its biggest flaw. There’s a cloud of vagueness to what Daramola is moving on from which sometimes leads to wandering. On the title track alone, ‘T.L.T.I.T', Daramola starts off by putting a former lover on lover on blast, after which he informs the listener that girls in Miami only love the ocean, then props himself up as someone who’s destined for better days before going back full circle to his ex. A lot of topics with little details to explore his sentiments.

The only song that creates a somewhat realized narrative is the final song on the album, ‘Jesus Lives in my House'. The cut leans into a nimbly plucked guitar as its sonic backbone while Daramola narrates the story of a church girl gone bad. The girl decided to chase her dreams and traveled to Hollywood, only to be immersed in a decadent lifestyle filled with Druggy highs. By the time she breaks off, she’s going through low motions while trying to get a pick-me-up from above. The story is sadly undercooked since its plot is grossly abbreviated and that reduces the song’s power to an extent.

T.L.T.I.T’s forward lean would’ve been clearer if Daramola had chosen to share the ‘toxic' experiences that made him choose his new path. On the gospel-tinged ‘Traffic (Interlude)’, when Daramola sings “Glory be to God, death came to my door the last time I tried”, what he’s referencing isn’t clear and by the time he starts rapping at the back end of the cut, it just seems like he’s throwing words together just because he feels like. There’s a back story to T.L.T.I.T and since no light is shed on it, it’s difficult to fully lean into his sentiments.

About half the songs on the album are dedicated to finding or appreciating a new lover, one better than Daramola's ex. Wanting the perfect partner is an understandable sentiment but Daramola's is tainted by a bit of solipsism which still boils down to the vagueness of T.L.T.I.T. He always presents himself as the perfect guy and even goes out of his way to deflate the ego of his love interest (the first lines of ‘Fight for You' are “No be say you fine”) or simply declaring he’s better than her current boyfriend (‘Lotto’). ‘Make me Better' and ‘Fight For You' both have an old-school 80s disco feel to them, but the influences are rightly not allowed to overwhelm Daramola. The former is an ode to a partner that’s a better half for him while the latter which adds a recurrent crackling snare to its beat finds Daramola appreciating the lady who deserves his loving.

On surface level though, the songs on T.L.T.I.T sound quite good. A combination of Daramola's slippery and sometimes feathery falsetto and subdued production to emphasize his vocals without drowning it out. There’s enough beat switches (fuller percussive beat switch at the end of ‘Someone to Love') and insertion of short groove sections (‘Tuwaraya Mama') to add color to the album's selected dour landscape. Daramola's strict vision for T.L.T.I.T to be his story means he carries the project for a large chunk of the time and he does so impressively. The only song with a feature is the duet, ‘Dream' with Karen Inder. Both artists' vocals overlap at few select points and it works quite well to create the album’s best song.

More depth and detail to writing is what Daramola mostly lacks, the production atmosphere makes up for it at many points but doesn’t cover it fully. T.L.T.I.T is definitely an upgrade from Daramola's previous project and his trajectory points to a rise in his artistry in the nearest future.

Crafting a proper debut album can be tricky especially when it’s the first project to be released by an artist. A lot of careers become negatively steeped if the quality of a debut album is poor. It is advisable these days that an artist release some kind of pre-album project, a mixtape or an EP. This serves as a test run of the artist’s ability and for fine tuning purposes.

Daramola (formerly known as D-Flow) has been involved in making music for some years now, noticeably his award winning production work for gospel artists, Lecrae and Andy Mineo. In that time, he’s also been honing his skills as a singer and his first body of work, Nothing Really Matters 1 of 2 released last year was a seven song EP. The EP held off the pressure that comes with an album and helped Daramola showcase his skills while he tested the waters. Nothing showed flashes of his talent but lack of urgency and depth in its lyricism was basically its undoing.

Daramola’s recently released debut album, The Last Time I tried isn’t as mopey and nostalgic as the title suggests. Instead, it is a forward-looking with hopes to avoid unfavorable circumstances of the past. The album tries to carry its objective out without a back story and therein lies its biggest flaw. There’s a cloud of vagueness to what Daramola is moving on from which sometimes leads to wandering. On the title track alone, ‘T.L.T.I.T’, Daramola starts off by putting a former lover on lover on blast, after which he informs the listener that girls in Miami only love the ocean, then props himself up as someone who’s destined for better days before going back full circle to his ex. A lot of topics with little details to explore his sentiments.

The only song that creates a somewhat realized narrative is the final song on the album, ‘Jesus Lives in my House’. The cut leans into a nimbly plucked guitar as its sonic backbone while Daramola narrates the story of a church girl gone bad. The girl decided to chase her dreams and traveled to Hollywood, only to be immersed in a decadent lifestyle filled with Druggy highs. By the time she breaks off, she’s going through low motions while trying to get a pick-me-up from above. The story is sadly undercooked since its plot is grossly abbreviated and that reduces the song’s power to an extent.

T.L.T.I.T’s forward lean would’ve been clearer if Daramola had chosen to share the ‘toxic’ experiences that made him choose his new path. On the gospel-tinged ‘Traffic (Interlude)’, when Daramola sings “Glory be to God, death came to my door the last time I tried”, what he’s referencing isn’t clear and by the time he starts rapping at the back end of the cut, it just seems like he’s throwing words together just because he feels like. There’s a back story to T.L.T.I.T and since no light is shed on it, it’s difficult to fully lean into his sentiments.

About half the songs on the album are dedicated to finding or appreciating a new lover, one better than Daramola’s ex. Wanting the perfect partner is an understandable sentiment but Daramola’s is tainted by a bit of solipsism which still boils down to the vagueness of T.L.T.I.T. He always presents himself as the perfect guy and even goes out of his way to deflate the ego of his love interest (the first lines of ‘Fight for You’ are “No be say you fine”) or simply declaring he’s better than her current boyfriend (‘Lotto’). ‘Make me Better’ and ‘Fight For You’ both have an old-school 80s disco feel to them, but the influences are rightly not allowed to overwhelm Daramola. The former is an ode to a partner that’s a better half for him while the latter which adds a recurrent crackling snare to its beat finds Daramola appreciating the lady who deserves his loving.

On surface level though, the songs on T.L.T.I.T sound quite good. A combination of Daramola’s slippery and sometimes feathery falsetto and subdued production to emphasize his vocals without drowning it out. There’s enough beat switches (fuller percussive beat switch at the end of ‘Someone to Love’) and insertion of short groove sections (‘Tuwaraya Mama’) to add color to the album’s selected dour landscape. Daramola’s strict vision for T.L.T.I.T to be his story means he carries the project for a large chunk of the time and he does so impressively. The only song with a feature is the duet, ‘Dream’ with Karen Inder. Both artists’ vocals overlap at few select points and it works quite well to create the album’s best song.

More depth and detail to writing is what Daramola mostly lacks, the production atmosphere makes up for it at many points but doesn’t cover it fully. T.L.T.I.T is definitely an upgrade from Daramola’s previous project and his trajectory points to a rise in his artistry in the nearest future.

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Iranloye Jeremiah 8 months ago

Great stuff!

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Israel Onoja 8 months ago

Impeccable as usual. Bless you bro

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Joseph Okpale 8 months ago

Nice one

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Ibrahim Suleiman Oga 8 months ago

powerful piece...

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Tomiwa David 7 months ago

Great work.

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