Burna Boy ‘Love, Damini’ Album Review

A commendable effort at showing his human side, but ‘Love, Damini’ fails to reach the heights of Burna Boy’s prior projects.

burna boy

Artist: Burna Boy

Title: Love, Damini

Genre: Afrofusion, Afrobeat, Afrobeats, Afropop

Date of Release: July 8, 2022

Producers: P2J, Jae5 and more…

Album Art:

love, damini album art

Length: 19 Songs; 1 hour 1 minute

Guest Appearances: 9; Ladysmith Black Mambozo, J Hus, Victony, Popcan, Blxst, Khelani, Ed Sheeran, J Belvin, and Khalid

Label: Spaceship Entertainment Limited, Atlantic

I had wondered what greater heights Burna Boy could reach once he’d won a Grammy. Well, after the glorious ‘Twice As Tall’ comes his latest project- Love, Damini, an attempt at telling the most personal story of his career yet. At least, that’s how he described it in the build-up to the album’s release. But as however harsh as this may seem, I have merely come to review Love, Damini, not to criticize it.

Love, Damini‘s many facets affirm Burna Boy’s insistence on his music being coined Afrofusion. At 19 songs lasting a minute beyond an hour, the project is slightly more ambitious than his previous one, as themes of love, sex, grief, and anxiety variedly get their fair share of the spotlight.
Burna’s inclination to seek out the perfect balance between his voice and production has made him one of the world’s best live performers. It’s a feat he carries on in Love, Damini, combining immaculately with producers like P2J and Jae5, especially in the first half of the album.

‘Kilometer,’ and ‘Last Last,’ were already global hits before the full album dropped. Meanwhile, the monstrous Afro-inflected hip hop tune ‘Cloak & Dagger’ with long-time collaborator J Hus, ‘Science,’ ‘Different Size’ with Victony, ‘It’s Plenty,’ and ‘For My Hand’ featuring Ed Sheeran will hope to reach smash status in the coming weeks/months.

However, after those songs, Love, Damini morphs into a haphazard display of vulnerability, as crumbs of ingenuity and a lack of conviction trail the songs that were supposed to get the job done.
Throughout his career, Burna has remained a polarizing figure, skimping from one controversial case to the other. Judging by how he touted Love, Damini as his most personal project yet, I expected that it would reveal Burna Boy’s flawed human and emotional side with sincerity and an application that we’d never seen before from the 31-year-old singer. However, sadly, Love, Damini’s flaws are laid bare by the same elements that were supposed to provide its strength.

After ‘Twice As Tall,’ Burna would’ve felt like he had nothing to prove, and rightly so. But that arrogance may have cost him what would have been an excellent personal album. Instead, listening to Love, Damini feels like walking inside the mind of a person struggling with conceit but unwilling to let go.

Forgivably, what made Burna the celebrated giant of African music and a global pop star was never really his ability to draw from raw, innate emotions and feelings, but the elegance with which he tackles his external environment and converts it into deep, powerful, relatable music.

Love, Damini may have been a shabby attempt from an idol to connect the dots and lines within his flawed human and immortalised superstar sides, but it is still a commendable effort. Its numerous feel-good tunes fail to hide its flaws though, revealing just how difficult it can be to deliver on the promises of ‘personal projects.’

In the end, Burna Boy’s Outsiders won’t care too much. After all, Love, Damini still contains, albeit in fragments, the lustrous elements that endeared them to their idol in the first place.

Rating: 3/5

Rating: 3 out of 5.

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