In-House: Davido’s “Timeless”

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On March 31, Davido released his fourth studio album titled Timeless. The album which he claims had to be remade from scratch within a limited time serves as the artist’s long awaited return to the music scene following the hiatus he went on after suffering a tragic personal loss last year. Davido’s Timeless is a 17-song 49-minute LP with 10 guests appearances from Asake, Musa Keys, Dexta Daps, Fave, Skepta, and Angelique Kidjo amongst others.

Today, the team at Culture Custodian share thoughts and opinions on Davido’s Timeless, in this instalment of our ongoing In-House music commentary series.

What’s your favourite song?

Adedamola: Champion Sound ft. Focalistic, probably because the beats appeal to me in a feel-good, indescribable way.

Alex: My favourite song is Na Money ft. The Cavemen and Angélique Kidjo. The love song about splurging on the woman you love is the perfect high-life sound that plays in the background while you promise your girlfriend heaven and earth. Angélique Kidjo’s appearance at the tail end is the icing on the cake. Davido, The Cavemen, and Angélique Kidjo did magic on that track.

Damilola: Definitely No Competition. The song resonates with me because no competition for real. It’s a great feel-good song a lot of people would want to relate to. Asake’s delivery on the track is almost spiritual, immediately invoking names like Agbani Darego and lyrics that are sure to inspire untold levels of self-confidence. His usual Yoruba lyricism creates a beautiful synergy that ties the song together and elevates it.

Which track do you think has the most superb production?

Adedamola: A tough choice, but I’ll pick Kante. I find Fave’s vocals powerful.

Ope: I think the track with most superb production is Na Money, the song feels like what great ice cream with many flavors tastes like.

Alex: The track with the most superb production is For The Road.

Damilola: Obviously every track.

Which track is a potential hit (No. 1) song?

Adedamola: I think Champion Sound has been very popular prior to the album release. It might stay top, or perhaps be overtaken by Kante.

Ope: I think the potential hit should be Unavailable, apart from being such a great track, it’s also really fun. Tiktok gold right there.

Alex: The potential hit and No. 1 spot contender is Over Dem.

Damilola: This is hard because there are many contenders on the album. But No Competition and Unavailable will go head to head for No. 1. Both tracks are too smooth with catchy hooks, crazy beats and relatable lyrics. In addition, they have TikTok trends which will skyrocket their appeal and reach. Honourable mention would be Feel, because that’s an unbelievable track.

Who is your favourite feature on the album?

Adedamola: For me, it’s a tie between Kante and Na Money. The latter has Afrocentric musical legend Angelique Kidjo on board, whose feature seems to be Davido’s move for Grammy appeal.

Ope: My favorite feature is No Competition cos anything with Asake is a win, sorry not sorry. But yeah, No Competition and Na Money.

Alex: My best feature is Na Money ft The Cavemen and Angélique Kidjo. They killed their verses. You will mistake Angélique Kidjo as a Nigerian on that track because she felt at home.

Damilola: I think all the features on the album are excellent, and if I had to choose, it’ll be between Asake, Fave, Dexta Daps, Musa Keys… to be honest, I might end up listing all of them so I’ll stop here.

Which track has the best vocals?

Ope: I think it’s Kante. I’m probably biassed because I really like Fave.

Adedamola: Fave’s on Kante.

Alex: I think the award for best vocals goes to For The Road.

Damilola: Kante has spectacular vocals from Davido and Fave, and they surprisingly blend seamlessly to create the perfect melodic track.

Which track is a potential miss?

Ope: I can’t think of any.

Alex: Bop ft. Dexta Daps. The song had the trappings of what could have been a hit but sadly, it didn’t bop like a song that was titled Bop. It wasn’t necessarily bad but it wasn’t good enough. If Dexta had brought a better Jamaican sound to this track, it would have been one of the best.

What’s the most slept on track?

Adedamola: For me, it’s Champion Sound. The rhythm is just as uplifting as it is soothing.

Ope: For The Road, perhaps? I don’t hear a lot of hype for it and i think its a jam.

Alex: I think the most slept on track is Legends Can Never Die.

Damilola: Precision is a mad song, but it might be overshadowed by the other hits on the album.

Which track has the most replay value?

Adedamola: It still has to be Champion Sound. It was the only song I played over three consecutive times since the album release.

Ope: The track with the most replay value for me has to be Feel so far. I replayed it thrice on my first listen.

Alex: I think the best replay value track remains Na Money. I love that so much.

Damilola: No Competition and Unavailable have great replay value. I wouldn’t mind listening to those lyrics multiple times a day.

What do you think about Timeless as an album in 2023?

Adedamola: Let me call it Davido’s unusual project. It’s laced with soft, low-key rhythmic vibes, and there’s really no upbeat party hit I can single out. This is not typical Davido.  Although there’s no song in the album that reflects or directly references the tragic demise of the singer’s son, the album inherits the aura of calm and meditation following the incident.

Ope: As an album, I love it. It’s so cool that its a project mostly full of joy that Davido deserves and I love that for him. While it encapsulates the Davido vibe so well, it also shows a lot of growth.

Alex: It’s a great piece of art. I felt that Davido took in all the criticism he has gotten in his previous works, and worked on them, and gave us this classic that will go down in history as one of David’s best albums.

Damilola: It is a great album that shows Davido’s mastery of his art and talent. It is a cohesive body of work that I believe will only get better after every listen.

What do you think comes next for Davido?

Adedamola: He’s already breaking records with the album, and international awards may be around the corner. Who knows, the album might receive a Grammy nomination and award. At this stage of his career, Davido has nothing more to prove to the Nigerian audience. He’s widely accepted and musically deified within the country. He’s also respected as an Afrobeats connoisseur in other parts of the African continent. This is the time to prioritise global appeal much more than a domestic one.

Ope: I think Davido is exploring new sounds, and being a feature king, he’s clearly not one to shy away from uncharted waters. I’m excited to see what new projects he’s going to be on.

Alex: What comes next for Davido? LOL. Honestly, me l dunno o but l think with Davido back, we will go back to the days Davido released new songs every Friday and the songs will be better.

Damilola: Davido seems to be entering his Godfather era, ushering in new artists whilst still dominating the charts. This album is also an excellent addition to his discography and I expect he’ll dominate award season and have an incredible global tour, selling out renowned venues all over.

Overall thoughts and a 1-10 rating?

Adedamola: 7/10.

Ope: It’s a solid 7/10 for me.

Alex: 8. I’m giving him an 8 because Davido once proved that he is the King of Features. Ten features…only Davido can pull that off with almost all giving bangers. Exploring other sounds, from highlife to Amapiano, and with the scintillating vocals. Davido is who he is, abeg. 001! Davido delivered on Timeless, and it’s great that we gave him his flowers once again.

Damilola: 8/10 album. It’s a great album.

Davido’s Timeless gets an average rating of 7.5/10 from the Culture Custodian team. The project borders on the typical Davido sounds we know and love, but it also showcases the growth and development of his artistry as he aims for global appeal. The project is an expression of the headspace Davido is currently in, following the recent events in his personal life, and it’s an invitation to join him on a journey he believes is going to be timeless. 

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