OUR REVIEW: Remy Baggins' album 'HENTAI' - Nigeria News, Africa News, World News - Nollywood Times

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Wednesday, June 12, 2019

OUR REVIEW: Remy Baggins' album 'HENTAI'

HENTAI sees one drawing inferences to ‘Eigengrau' while appreciating Remy Baggins' quality production, songwriting, vision and execution.

Super-talented, genre-fluid Nigerian singer and producer, Remy Baggins is back with his new album, a 9-track EP titled, ‘HENTAI.’

This follows 'YLLW,' his collaboration EP with fellow singer, Eri-Ife and his 2017 6-track EP, 'Eigengrau.'

During the breaks he had between those projects, he was producing and featuring for acts like Yinka Oshodi, Psycho YP and so forth.

In Japan, HENTAI is an anime with overly sexualized characters. But outside Japan, it is anime or manga pornography. And one thing this project runs on is an excess of sex.

With HENTAI, it looks like Baggins continues a story that started on Eigengrau (His last solo project), which is German for intrinsic or dark grey.

The album merged genre fluidity in melody-rich soft rock, alternative pop, afro-house, PR&B, trap and afrobeats with sufficient songwriting. It also tells a coming-of-age story that chronologically details frustrations (in love) before ending with the masterful ‘Trippy a** outro.’

If I’m right and HENTAI is a continuation of Eigengrau, it feels like the frustrations (in love) that Baggins detailed on Eigengrau piqued on HENTAI. The man from 'Eigengrau' has now become a non-believer in love and all things that require faith and emotion. Instead, he's about sex.

The void of interest in love has now been replaced by an overt fixation on the erotic intricacies of sex.

The super-wonderful ‘Trippy a** outro’ was a psychedelic sonic experience. On the song, the complaint and nagging of the previous five tracks stopped and we got the wailing; a Kid Cudi-esque humming of a man probably in acceptance or pain, doing his best 808s and Heartbreaks-Kanye West impression while a myriad of instruments collide for melody.

It was a fitting ending to the 5 previous songs. ‘Trippy’ is a modern language for ‘high,’ and that song is definitely a psychoactive. I felt it a sad acceptance to all the complains and frustrations with a hint of wailing. Nonetheless, there’s a chance that I might be wrong.

HENTAI


The album opens up to a track titled, ‘Freaky a** intro.’ The opening lyrics are lewd. They detail the intricate preferences of a faceless woman in bed and the desire of her mate. On the hook, Baggins sings that, “Leave your feelings out the door when you step in, I don’t know what love is…”

Two central themes on Eigengrau; love and feelings are instantly rejected with a newfound stoic tendency. Asides that, there’s also the ‘a** outro’ and ‘a** intro’ factor. Nonetheless, Remy Baggins croons with effortless charm while he lets a certain electronic guitar solo do the madness like this song were a 70’s Van Halen song.

There’s also the backdrop of the gripping, well-arranged drums and tin-drops for snare to appreciate.

The next track ‘RockYourBody’ sees Baggins embody an egotistical man while convincing a woman to “give it up” with slight entitlement apparent in him. The R&B/synth pop beat reminds one of ‘Tonight’ by John Legend or ‘Hold On, We’re Going Home’ by Drake featuring Majid Jordan.

The careless obsession with sex continues, and so does a seeming obsession with electric guitar chords which strongly feature again heavily.

‘SECRETz’ follows. It’s is a dripping R&B song with a Hip-Hop feel. Again, the entitlement of the male character rears its ugly head as he instructs female to switch her phone off and take everything she has on. This is some BDSM thing. Nonetheless, he promises to get her wetter than the ocean, so I guess that’s fair.

Dami Oniru helps the project stays true to its sexual plot, and it’s only when LADIPOE comes in that you realize that the song’s idea could be a product of three individual imaginations. Could that be why it’s titled, ‘SECRETz’? I’ll take that bet.

‘Vibrate’ is more uptempo afro-fusion. Now, Baggins is singing in pidgin. This time, it feels like the man Baggins sings about is with a more confident woman. She takes control. Woops! The details are lewd. The hook is about the girl’s desire.

Tomi Thomas delivers without suffocating Baggins.

‘GBA!’ is an uptempo afrobeats song, a gbedu nonetheless; radio worthy in every way. Ordinarily, this would have stuck out as an awkward sound due to what we’ve been listening to, but it doesn’t

Though uptempo, it’s down to the kind of strings on the beat which drive a uniform sound. I like the Yoruba adlibs too. On this, the man Baggins sings about is desperate, yet confident.

‘NakedxSavage’ is my favourite on HENTAI. The trap&B beat is just orgasmic. The detail in this song’s mixing is simply impeccable and I think Baggins realize because he was flossing.

For the first time so far, the lyrics slightly suffer, but I’m willing to overlook it. Except you’re obsessive about lyrics, there’s more to this song than lyrics. I, however, find Baggins likening himself to Pablo Picasso on sex quite hilarious . This ‘wash’ is mad!

‘DRIPxxPHONESEX’ tells the story of a woman who ‘shoots her shot’ quite brazenly at the man. The shot came with nudes on Snapchat. Of course, the man accepts and invites her over. This is another lewd song. The lyricism improves on another trap&B song.

‘TENSION’ features Funbi. This is different, the man is more considerate and empathetic. Sex is used more like an object of relaxation that aims to help the woman and not simply use her unlike the previous tracks. This is the lyrical variety I’ve been subconsciously clamouring for.

The beat is post-disco soul/alternative R&B that shares echoes with ‘Sexual Healing’ by Marvin Gaye and ‘Another One’ by Dvsn.

‘Let me’ is a perfect culmination to HENTAI. The guitars, saxophone and percussion fuse effortlessly for contemporary R&B with a hint of trap music and afrobeats (for verse two). Lyrically, the man Bagggins sings about is more methodical.

He wants the woman, he yearns for her and even refrains from doing anything till she gives him express consent. But on the other hand, it could also be the man’s ego wanting to know that the woman truly wants him. This one is dicey, but the music is fantastic.

Verdict
The album art is a part of the experience. One look and you know what you’re getting.


This is one of those albums where track list doesn’t matter. Whichever way it was arranged, its sonic cohesion will still find a way to con you into endorsing it. Production on HENTAI is immaculate and meticulous.

On songwriting, I was almost subconsciously complaining about the ratchet sexcapades when ‘TENSION’ and ‘Let Me’ dropped, so I’m fine. That’s the variety and imagination that was required.

On his inspiration, I wager HENTAI is mostly imaginative. If it’s not, Remy Baggins either has a very healthy sex life or an incredibly active imagination. I am also bias about the rock inspiration behind the guitar solos. Baggins is an old soul and HENTAI is a canvas of different sonic eras and genres merged into one.

There’s 70’s rock guitar solos of Van Halen, Guns ‘n’ Roses or Pink Floyd, there’s trap music, alternative R&B, synth pop, Mavin Gaye era post-disco soul, afro-fusion and afrobeats.

It’s also effortless how they interchange for optimum enjoyment. It’s rare that I find no fault on an album, and I found one slight issue of one or two instances where Baggins does a Wizkid; using adlibs and expletives to fill cadences.

Throughout the album, I see detail and imagination. Most of all, I see a core student of music expressing himself through the 'sensitive' topic of sex. In the end, HENTAI is a tale of freedom.

Ratings: /10

•      0-1.9: Flop

•      2.0-3.9: Near fall

•      4.0-5.9: Average

•      6.0-7.9: Victory

•      8.0-10: Champion

Pulse Rating: /10

Tracklist: 2/2

Songwriting: 1.9/2

Production: 2/2

Enjoyability and Satisfaction: 2/2


Execution: 1.9/2

Total:

9.8 - Champion

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