Album Review: Some Nights I Dream of Doors by Obongjayar
Excellent, Based on 2 Critics
musicOMH.com - 80 Based on rating 4
An auspicious, sonically diverse, engaging debut that works as a fine showcase of Steven Umoh’s talents Steven Umoh, the Nigerian singer/songwriter better known as Obongjayar, is quite a chameleonic figure: this becomes apparent within the first minute of Some Nights I Dream Of Doors’ opening track Try, when his smooth, melodious delivery of the verse moves into a gruff, heavily accented hook. In another life he could be an impressionist, but in this one he has made a sonically diverse, engaging album with the help of Barney Lister, known for previously working with Joy Crookes and Celeste. Roughly speaking the album can be divided into two sections - the first half deals with life's trials and tribulations, whether it's the searing political attack of Parasite ("Point their fingers, calling me a leech when they do all the leeching / never need to worry 'bout a thing 'cause daddy's daddy did it") or the repetitive hook and shambolic metre of Sugar, while the second half is more romantic in nature.
There's beauty in an artist taking the backseat and letting their sound mature alongside them. A spiritual man, Nigeria-born and raised Obongjayar nervelessly allows his message to latch onto whichever sound arrives first. From the dusky boombap tales creeping up from the London cityscape onto his SoundCloud back in 2016, to the Afro-influenced art-pop sounds of debut album 'Some Nights I Dream of Doors', Obongjayar continues to deliver with a razor-sharp focus that embraces his experimental nature.