If Oxlade was a gadget, he’d definitely be some high end device created by Apple — elegant, efficient and beyond excellent to its cult following (consisting mostly of pretty girls). Oxygene introduces the artiste that Oxlade is, his falsetto, playfulness, harmony, talent and adeptness with adlibs. It also expertly excludes all the parts that make artistes predictable.
If you’ve ever been in love or felt some connection with someone at any point in your life — Oxygene will convince you that you were/are not alone. The entire project has a seamless delivery that is somewhat missing in several projects today. The project delivers on Oxlade’s brand promise — a voice that’s different, an artiste that will take your breath away and hooks we can relate to.
For a few minutes, I’ll provide an overview of the Oxygene EP. Essentially, I’ll tell you why all 6 songs pop!
One thing Oxlade does expertly is make you feel the exact thing he wants you to feel. This song offers no exception to this rule. O2 is Oxygen (“air”), a fitting introduction and is also the subject of the famous “wetin concern God with your own plans” exchange on Twitter.
On this song, the pulse and deep breaths in the beginning convince you that Oxlade knows that longing feeling that comes from loving someone/something deeply. His harmonies on the hook and outro bring back memories of his work with Melvitto on Wait for You, the highlight of Melvitto’s ‘Thenightisyoung’ EP.
The second track of the EP was the first inkling of some extraordinary attention to detail regarding the arrangement of the project. The production and sound engineering must be credited for considerable genius.
Dera might have made another “Baby”. The song itself has a single verse that Oxlade repeats twice. This is barely noticeable but it manages to make the entire song sound like one elongated happy chorus — I guarantee that after listening to this song a few times, you’d know the lyrics.
If you’re slightly sentimental and have someone special, this song will resonate more with you. It’ll give you the chills and goosebumps from the first time you asked someone special out on a date, to taste wine or to somewhere that means something to you. If you’re single… sorry.
My first reaction to this track was — “Who’s the babe that’s singing?” This is my first introduction to Tosing, and her voice blew me away! The great thing about this song as an album teaser is that upon listening to the entire project, you’ll discover that “Away” is the perfect anchor track. It links the first two songs of the Oxygene EP to the others, an additional point for Oxlade, Bizzle, Spax and the team.
It’s refreshing to feel his personal touch on this track. It seems to be Oxygene’s honeymoon phase as it takes the romantic story Oxlade is telling to somewhere a little more private. This song provides a more intimate outlook to Oxlade’s sound and what he feels romance should be.
This song is a display of Oxlade’s mastery of afrobeats and ad-libbing. It shows his versatility, he is not boxing his sound to any corner. Kokose is oddly reminiscent of his sound on Shugar. The arrangement on the EP hooks it to Away, I noted that “Away” plays the anchor role expertly. The rationale is that, it’s only when you’re with your lover that you can demand a private dance.
You know how you know something is bad for your health yet you want it nonetheless, how a certain person is too good to be good for you and how they’re bad but still manage to be all you want — that’s what this song is all about.
The song explains how love affects those deep in its clutches. Oxlade uses this song to show that less is more. I assure you, you’ll feel everything!
Tables Turn (with Moelogo & Grandma Olaitan)
Oxlade teams up with the prolific Moelogo (a hugely underrated genius) on this track. As an advocate of collaborative songwriting, I have a bias for this track.
It’s refreshing to see the personal touch in a track that describes how hard the come up was. It’s not the typical “started from the bottom” story — it’s personal feel takes it from the realms of these sort of songs and inspires us to be better. Olaitan in short tells us all our dreams are valid. Tables Turn as a conclusion to the EP tells Oxlade’s story and pushes the “expect more” narrative with the final sample.
If you’re superstitious (I am by the way. lol), the fact that Oxlade introduces new listeners to his Grandma in the sample that ends the track and the EP brings some extant spiritual vibe to Oxygene. Previously, fans and followers of Oxlade have experienced Grandma Olaitan’s influence in Legend and random videos on his Instagram but none compares to her blessings on this track.
Oxlade’s Oxygene Overall —
The tracks tell you what it means to be Oxlade. As one of Nigeria’s most talented artistes today, Oxlade justifies the hype — however, in creating this magical project, credit to talent isn’t enough. We must begin to see and appreciate the hard work of all those behind the sound. We must appreciate the producers, sound engineers and everyone in the studio. We must thank every disappointment and heartbreak that made the first few tracks so heartfelt.
This EP’s arrangement is inch perfect, those who saw to this deserve two glasses of chilled Orijin each. If it’s just one person, he/she must plan my wedding. I refuse to believe the arrangement or anything else about this EP was left to chance!