We got a taste of Darey’s comeback about two months when he shared his 2020 debut, Jah Guide Me, which seems now, like an underrepresentation of his new path considering the quality of songs on his just-released EP, Way Home. Jah Guide Me did its job of heralding Darey’s re-entrance but nothing to prepare us for the almost perfect fusion of experimentalism; a style associated with the new school of artists in Nigeria and, his projection of old school RnB we fell in love with when he sauntered into the industry way back in 2004, that is the foundation of the project.
Despite its new flavor, Way Home doesn’t entirely push Darey’s sound in new directions but it builds on what he’s always offered, emotions projected as sound and the guitar riffs that open the EP on Wild West is proof. The introductory track’s title is a metaphor for the chaotic nature of dating pools and what better way to introduce us to this topic than an abundance of biting acoustics. With rhymes, Darey’s attempts to reason with the woman who has smitten. “There’s no love in the wild Wild West, if you find one you’re truly blessed, girl I no go let you rest, I go chase you to Budapest”.
The next track, Show Me Love features Teni and captures Darey’s understanding of the dynamics of new school music as evidenced in his catchy lyrics, his use of Pheelz’s bouncy, jazz-infused instrumental, one that’s associated with the rising variations of Afrobeat, and his lax delivery.
On tracks like Gone, Darey returns to the fold. He gives us the warm piano tones that set off singles like Not The Girl before he introduces his sultry vocals to the swirling mix. The previously released Jah Guide Me is the track on which he finds a middle ground between his pre-hiatus self and the willing Darey we encounter on this comeback EP.
While Darey works largely alone on Way Home, his inclusion of Teni and Patoranking speaks to his willingness to collaborate even on a project with intentions as personal as this.
He might have been around for way over a decade with a five-year hiatus tucked in between, but Darey has still got the charmer in him on lockdown. With topics ranging from romance to spirituality and the conviction present on the titular outro, he manages to diffuse all with the calmness and enunciation only a maestro like him can.