On the 24th of May, reggae/dancehall star, Patoranking, released his sophomore album, Wilmer, to mixed reactions with many fans expressing how underwhelming it was. He had announced its release 3 weeks prior on social media and fans geared up for an equally impressive output as was his debut, God Over Everything.
Anyone who has paid the slightest attention to Patoranking’s career trajectory will agree that since his debut hit single, “Alubarika” featuring Timaya, his career and musical style have grown better recalling that his first album which was largely well-received, and has aged really well.
Wilmer, the 12-track album was named after his daughter. It features six artistes across and beyond the continent with Davido being the only Nigerian who features on it. As opposed to his previous album which had a lot of Nigerian collaborations.
While the album contains two pre-released hits, “Confirm” (with Davido) and “Lenge Lenge”, the emotion on the album seem unfocused and conflicting. One couldn’t help but catch the air of rushed incompleteness. If I do say so myself, most of the songs in the album will probably do well as stand-alone singles seeing that a number of them should have been cut from the album in the first place. There is also a hint of experimentation and a mixture of genres and sounds.
The compilation, rather than the actual songs, appears to be problematic. There seems to be a lack of harmony in the overriding mood/emotion. Even the sophisticated personalities – Sarz, CTEA, Botcash, Mr. Kamera – on the production team as well as the ones who shared the booth with him – Bera,Dadju, Donae’o, Nyashinki, Busiswa – couldn’t help pull off an infectious album.
For what it’s worth, “Black” and “Open Fire” are two of the best tracks out of the album and they are very enjoyable. Also, the title track, “Wilmer”, which happens to be the first track on the album and features Bera, is equally one of the best tracks.
In the end, Wilmer is a personal project from all indications and such projects require a whole lot of courage. And that should not be overlooked.
Wilmer is available online on different streaming platforms.