EP REVIEW: Deena Ade chronicles imperfection on ‘May You Find Love’
- Pulse Live NG
Before that appearance, she released a seven-track EP, Side Chic. After then, she released the six-track Cries of My Subconscious EP before the three-track collaboration EP, Collision with TiwaDara.
A few days ago, the owner of a distinct soprano released her latest body of work, a five-track EP titled May Love Find You. For the EP, the singer hosted a live performance for the songs on her latest EP. As she performed, Arsenal got whooped silly and her music felt like a soundtrack to a melodrama – epic.
On this new EP, and like any project by Ade, there seems a cohesive narrative with its songs carved around intense, yet imperfect love stories that only trigger more fantasies and yearning than satisfaction.
The cruel lover in each of these songs seem the type society says women love to hate; a nomadic, fleeting presence that gives you just enough to leave you salivating only to leave on the cusp of satisfaction.
These stories then illuminates the EP’s title, ‘May Love Find You.’ We all need love, but it can only be deemed love when there is a balance of emotions, presence and sacrifice from both parties, with no parasitic effects. When there is a preponderance of love to one side, it’s not really love.
With the songs on this EP mostly about the preponderance of love to the side, it then becomes plausible that Ade is simply saying, ‘it’s only love when there is a balance.’ So, may love find you – the one that leaves you satisfied.
As Ade sings on ‘I Want You To Change Your Mind,’ “fantasies ain’t realities” and dreams do not translate into perfect love stories. You can’t fantasize love into reality. In other ways, it also talks about the capabilities of the female species.
Here is a review of the EP;
The songwriting and detail on May Love Find You is unsurprisingly good. Each song presents words that paint a clear picture. ‘I Want You To Change Your Mind,’ is presumably a post-breakup song about an imperfectly perfect and ‘dark’ lover whom the character loves with all her being.
She’s so visibly sprung that confusion sets in, and she thinks about blocking and stalking this ex-lover all at the same time.
‘Ma Ti Lo’ finds beauty on a smooth beat with piercing chords from an organ as a minimalist percussion infuses the post-R&B vibes to us with Deena’s story trying to salvage a broken or breaking relationship. ‘Ma Ti Lo’ is Yoruba which means ‘Don’t go’ in English.
There’s also the extra detail of buying new things just to show a piercing need. This showcases imaginative songwriting. Even the adlibs around the second verse seem purposeful.
‘Midnight Drive’ is plush contemporary avant-soul, laced with minimalist piano chords and simple percussion before a beautiful climax 41 seconds in. This climax merges fitting multi-layered vocals with a light dreamy string. This is by far the best song on the EP.
The song is majorly a declaration of love, without any insight into which state the relationship is. This declaration also attests to the attentiveness of this lover. If a song were to be made about anyone as a lover, this ethereal tune should be it.
Lyrically, ‘Shako’ is the most interesting song. Deena sings in first person about a typical millennial lover; a female who cheated on a lover she cherishes, yet expects this betrayed lover to take her back.
It seems entitled; no, it is an entitled perspective. The most interesting part is, however, how this female threatens dire consequences on herself if this lover leaves her.
It’s crazy, but on the other hand, one could argue that it represents the times we live in – equality. In the old days, men would cheat on their partners, before begging for mercy and forgiveness while threatening to die if these women leave them – emotional blackmail. In a way, while it is amoral, it is also reverse girl power – if that makes sense.
In another sense, it could also be a chronicle of how women are just as capable of infidelity and emotional blackmail as men. ‘Baby ma fi mi shako,’ is Yoruba. In more neutral language, it means, ‘Baby, don’t do shakara for me.’
‘Gbadun,’ means ‘enjoy’ in English. Deena embodies a female character telling a lover that, ‘Let’s just enjoy each other’ while she’s unsure that this lover will oblige her. Lyrically, there are also elements of old Nigerian love tunes on this one.
Production on May Love Find You is near-flawless. There are no moments where this scribe felt something lacking. The production is not flamboyant or experimental, and it didn’t need to be. It was made to for purpose and it serves it impeccably.
Here, there is a slight imperfection. Sonically, the track list is fine, but topically, I think there might have been a little issue. Except I’m wrong for thinking the five songs are five timelines of one unique story, while in fact, Deena just wanted told five different love stories, independent of each other, I would say that the track list needs to be touched like this;
I Want To Change Your Mind
Ma Ti Lo
This way, I think it would have told a story that started with the appreciation of a love affair without any inkling of turning sour (Midnight Drive), before moving to where things start going sour as one lover starts craving the attention of the other (Gbadun), then infidelity while expecting this partner to stay (Shako), and then ‘Wanting to change his mind’ while singing for him not to go (Ma Ti Lo).
I think it makes for a better story this way – but that’s just me.
Regardless of that one blip, this album was still commendably executed to a beautiful and enjoyable level.
At the root of it all, this EP is about imperfection; sometimes as it relates to love, and sometimes to the people in love. It is good the way it is, this scribe is just a sucker for perfection in good music.
• 0-1.9: Flop
• 2.0-3.9: Near fall
• 4.0-5.9: Average
• 6.0-7.9: Victory
• 8.0-10: Champion
Pulse Rating: /10
Enjoyability and Satisfaction: 1.7/2
8.7 - Champion