Amaarae is one of the poignant talents that Ghana boasts, and her sonic mettle has once again come to the test with her latest long-tracked body of work.
In what sounds like an almost symphony (a barrage of Japanese folky Koto music mixed with European violin, cello, West African idiophones, and chordophones with harps to complement), Amaarae paints a mystique orchestral overview of her sophomore body of work, ‘Fountain Baby’.
The Ghanaian American’s distinctive high-pitched soprano has been one of her standout traits in recent years, in the same airspace as her perceived outward suaveness due to her exquisite taste in fashion apparel.
Amaarae’s 2021 pop summer banger, and the Yinka Bernie-produced ‘Sad Girlz Luv Money’ opened the right doors for the singer, bringing fashion industry syncing opportunities, and racking up record plaques in the process.
To tell the truth, African pop has its worn-out cliches, but Amaarae stealthily tries to outrun them, and the singer’s evasion is apparent through her careful choice of record producers.
On ‘Fountain Baby,’ she sticks to the angels she knows (pun most intended), giving the project’s executive music production to music producers KYU Steed and Kz Didit.
Fountain Baby album review shows an album whose art gives much away in the title—even a myopic person would discern from a distance. Amaarae is imaged in a static yet mobile state as supposed ethereal water showers down on her relaxed form. The cover art, however, carries an array of confusing and somewhat “blasphemous” calligraphic digits.
The body of work’s introduction charge, ‘All My Love’ quickly re-assures the self-acclaimed quintessential African princess of pop’s penchant for sonic wealth, as did her debut, ‘The Angel You Don’t Know’.
Her second offering, ‘Angels in Tibet’ spills hot ravenous sex. “I wanna Fuck A Puddle, Give that Kitty cuddle, Kilo Halo’d Angel,” she says in an almost speech form.
On ‘Co-Star’, Amaarae weaves playfully over syncopated beats and synths; she has fun on this record, merging horoscopes and cupid on a Kyu Steed and Kz Didit jointly produced work.
Psychedelic and vintage pop instrumentals take over ‘Princess Going Digital,’ a joint reminiscent of an old Janet Jackson or Britney Spears record. The Tochi Bedford-produced record portrays Amaarae’s rarely-seen vulnerable side: “Baby, hold me down I got feelings for you now, way you love me where it hurts,’ she sings.
The call-and-response bit to the song however leaves a sense of ambiguity as to which sex she is referring to, anyway it doesn’t matter for much, as Amaarae is a free nightingale who soars the sexual climats without marginalization.
‘Big Steppa’ thrives on smooth Afrobeat rhythms, aerophones, and Amaarae’s lush vocal delivery. ‘Reckless & Sweet’ already set the pace for the album, it being the project’s lead single. She talks about a love that comes at a cost, calling out a gold-digging lover, and exposing the cons of too much affluence in the process.
Gun sound imitations and a fine orchestra lead to ‘Wasted Eyes’. A mid-tempo bop that explores toxic love. She sings, “You Love Me With No Honor, I don’t wanna leave, I don’t I knew that you were trouble”.
‘Counterfeit’ pays a subtle homage to the American defunct hip-hop group ‘Clipse.’ Counterfeit samples its production style, even giving credits to the original music producer, Pharell Williams.
In summary, Amaarae's sophomore body of work is one of the stand-out Afro-pop projects in recent times- an orchestral overview filled with mystique sonics.