A long time coming, Joeboy finally shares his debut album today after a fanfare characterized emPawa debut, powered by, his affiliations with the revolutionary initiative of course, and most importantly, a talent that captures the zeitgeist of the new school. Already, we’ve witnessed the stuff he’s made of, manifested in the likes of Baby, Beginning, and Don’t Call Me Back, all of which made it to his debut EP, Love & Light, released towards the end of 2019. No longer a ‘boy’, Joeboy has ascended neophyte stage and is ready to take on the world, and the aptly titled fourteen-track, Somewhere Between Beauty & Magic, is proof of this.
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The first notable thing about this album is the lack of features, indicative of Joeboy’s lone ranger persona and how much he has come into his own. Next is the persona-defining confession he offers on Count Me Out, the album’s introductory track. The two-minutes long track is enough glorification for the budding superstar and in just a few words, covers the intention of the album. Most importantly, the album is clouded with Joeboy’s evolution which is the peak in his confidence with experimentalism, evident in tracks like Door, Oshe, OH, Police, and Sugar Mama. His knack for embracing storytelling remains but is emboldened by his entrance to the more serious territory. Ordinarily, tracks like Consent, aren’t Joeboy’s cup of tea but with the social climate, he switches up, indicating growth and social consciousness.
Joeboy has always been highly personal with his music, penning down narratives like love letters to his listeners. It is this standout feature, that made Love & Light, a worthy debut project and will now catapult Somewhere Between Beauty & Magic to even higher levels than the former.