Julius Kojo Antwi, Ghana’s Afro Pop Star is back with his 13th album, packed with the right amount of zest and is as joyful an experience as he ever conjured, a solid and fine work with striking melodies.
Four years of starving his music lovers, the Music Man still manages to paint vivid and poignant pictures with his cupid songs, which confirms that he is the most evocative lyricist in his genre of “Afro Pop”. His new album, titled “Mwaaah” spells this out loudly.
The New Weekend Crusading Guide is shy to say that we have stolen a copy of Kojo Antwi’s CDs yet to be released and have enjoyed the soothing and gentle tap of the harmonic vocals on the 'Mwaaah' (sound of a kiss) album. Indeed, it is vivid portrait of distinct lyrical gems. The scary blend of supported cast of talented local and international musicians gives 'Mwaaah' a pleasurable listen. The likes of outstanding Frankie Paul (UK), Freddie Meiway (Ivory Coast), Akyemfour, Prickie Addy and others makes the album a delight.
The Music Man’s female background singers, including Nana Yaa and Beverly Tawiah take to the foreground on some of the choruses, adding to the ethereal sound of tunes. Beautiful tunes like "HAPPY ANNIVERSARY", "SHO ‘NAA", "ICE COLD", "ADIEPENA", "EYE CANDY", "ME MMO", "MESAN ABA", "DOFA SO WONDERFUL", "ANANSEWAA", "MWAH!", "MWAH! WO DE KAN KO" and "HAMMER".
There are several moments on the "HAPPY ANNIVERSARY" track where style and substance prove equally powerful. It relates a happy anniversary of a couple and how they would be celebrating it. Their wish to be committed to each other forever and ever comes out so strong.
The intimate and lyrical feel of the second track, "SHO 'NAA" is a beautiful interplay by the blend of the powerful voice of the Music Man and his playmate, Freddy Meiway. They glide effortlessly in and out of the powerful track managing to maintain a collective sound that breathes as one. It talks about the singer’s one and only future wife whom he cherishes so much and how he wants the world to know how pretty she is. He also explains how much he loves the girl with passion. This track gives force to the saying that “true love is priceless”.
The "ICE COLD" is perhaps the most charming track in the entire catalogue. It stands out as a moving record within Kojo’s vast body of work. This track explains how his girlfriend left him. He gets so lonely and feels rejected. Anytime he feels the other side of the bed, he feels the touch of not mere coldness, but ice cold and emptiness. He explains how he dearly he loves his girlfriend and recounts the moment they shared together. Indeed their love was like Romeo and Juliet’s. Their break up leading to a loneliness hurts to the bone.
Imagine your girlfriend scrolling your cell phone only to find a love text message from another girl. Your girlfriend then accuses you of cheating on her and packs out. Yours truly, the Music Man finds himself in a tight corner in this duet with Beverley Tawiah. Beverley’s dispenses so-cheery lyrics like ‘I don’t love you anymore’ and ‘I don’t want to see your face anymore’ while Kojo apology to be taken back is rejected.
"MESAN ABA" has a classic touch. It is Kojo’s promise to be back which hints what we can expect from the Music Man in his future album.
As usual, the ‘Mwaaah Mwaaah’ album is one of those great featuring the maestro himself in his original elements, rich voice and style in abundance.
In track 8, titled "DOFA", Nana Yaa demonstrates she is a true offspring of Pat Thomas and Laura Everett. With very pristine lyrics, she confesses her love for a lover who makes her feel like a queen whenever they are together. So what’s her beef? She harbors fears that her love is at stake. This makes DOFA a must-listen.
Track 9 "SO WONDERFUL" looks like a big contest between two powerful voices of which Kojo Antwi of Ghana was robbed by the judges against Frankie Paul (UK) rich voice, the score looks like 49 in favour Frankie Paul of the UK, all about love and nothing but pure love.
With tritely phrased choruses like pang, pang, pang and hammer, hammer, hammer, Kojo Antwi’s "Hammer track" would get any listener tapping the feet. This track talks about a lady’s love for a guy who has taken the least opportunity by hammering her everyday and even goes to the extent of strangling her. She feels it is bad for her to be treated that way especially when in love. She wonders whether it is her destiny to be hammered that way saying she prefers to be the hammer and not nail. This lady is mother Africa, our own continent.
One of Kojo Antwi’s fans who could not sleep over the thrill of the album maintains the delight of this album rests in the title track, Mwaaah. “I believe this track leads the pack in this album of great tunes. Mwaaah sums up the theme of love which features prominently in Kojo’s works”, says Celine Danso, the Kojo Antwi freak.
Her view is fiercely countered by Sumiatu Shaibu, who is hooked on to Hammer, "Wo De Kan Ko" and "Ice Cold", tracks on the album. “The excellent blend of tunes gives "Hammer" and "Ice Cold" the magic it is worth, but wait a minute, I am prepared to bet my life on that powerful track 12, "Wo De Kan Ko", Nana Yaa performed with brutal precision”, she said from her UK base.
“"Eye Candy", "Me Mmo" and "Adiepena" cannot be left out in any praise of this album”, says the ever-smiling Emmanuel Essumin of the Insiders’ music club.
Having been a loyal fan of Ghanaian music in his various travels across the world, Abibat Ismail says “picking a favorite in this album is a tough call. Each track comes out with very distinct characteristics, is all great, I am confused, Kudos to the Maestro.”
The music video is such an awesome collection, simply tranquilizing “charley don’t go there, its wicked!” Rahim Sinare maintains.
Listening to all tracks on the album takes you into the past, present and future of Kojo Antwi’s legend. If you thought the Music Man was great on his Tattoo, Densu and other albums, wait until you grab a copy of this powerful soul searching album. The "Mwaaah" album is a solid contribution to Kojo Antwi’s legacy spanning over decades. Stay tuned.
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