Iffiok “Fiokee” Effanga, is perhaps the most successful guitarist in modern Nigerian music. Sharing credits with acts like Tiwa Savage, Yemi Alade, and Patoranking, amongst others, he’s had a career that would rival most DJs(albeit in a different context).
On “Man” however, the man with scores of guitar solos and interludes finally takes the driver’s seat.
“Man” is not so much an album as it is a collection of songs. There seems to be no real thematic cohesion or mood on the album. For Fiokee, this record is purely a showcase of his range across the soundscape of different Artistes.
Chike and Gyakie are expectedly romantic on “Follow You”, Yemi Alade is as flippant as ever on “I Cannot”, and The Cavemen are well… The Cavemen.
None of this is wrong. However these Artistes seem to serve up only unremarkable songs in their discography.
You see, the songs aren’t bad; They just aren’t great either. The result is that Fiokee’s album plays like a playlist, nothing out of the ordinary.
There are diamonds in this rough, however. Guchi goes against type, performing an R&B ballad on “Number One”, Nelson Freitas is exquisite on “Smooth Operator” and Bella Shmurda’s aggression is welcome on “Personal”.
However, Ric Hassani and Klem run away with the best song on the album with “Be A Man”. A stark portrayal of a hard-working man trying to do right by his family, it actually sounds like a great single for either of these Artistes. It’s a great song through and through.
In all, Fiokee’s intention is simply to showcase his range across different artistic genres — The replay value is secondary.
What matters is that we can hear Fiokee’s strings in all of these songs and in that… He succeeds.