As a solo act, Mr. P was initially driven by fast-paced choreography-fitted pop music. But recently, a lot has changed. On April 2, 2021, he released his debut album Prodigal Son and that change was further reinforced. First off, the music became more sonically diverse and methodical.
Secondly, Mr. P’s vocals sound markedly different, a step away from Paul of P Square.
His singing voice seems more contemporary, like what you’d hear from younger acts like Wizkid, Wande Coal, Fireboy or Rema, away from the Tenor that P Square is known for. Thirdly, he launches out of Africa in search of a more rounded sound and album. The album features international acts like Mohombi and American R&B singer, Tamar Braxton.
Like any of P Square’s classic tunes, ‘Prodigal Son’ also retains its pan-African appeal in features, language of choice and sound. The album features African stars like Tiwa Savage, Wande Coal and Singah as well as fast-rising act, Oviekelz.
Under the dimly lights of this experimental Afro-pop album is a thematic focus on a woman, to be addressed in amorous or sex-related topics. Sometimes, it’s a declaration of love and attraction on the Ghana-inspired ‘Odo’ or other records like ‘Paloma,’ ‘Boyfriend,’ ‘Smooth Criminal,’ and ‘I Love You.’
Other times, the love chatter comes with certainty like on ‘I Do’ and ‘Just Like That.’ But more pungently, he dedicates ‘Lola Diego’ to his wife Lola Okoye with the help of Singah. He also declares his will to ‘Grow Old’ with her with some powerful statements aboard R&B.
Across the rest of the album, Mr. P replies his critics on ‘I No Like Trouble,’ shows gratitude on ‘Blessed.’ He even declares his will to never stop on the latter track.
This album is too long at 17 tracks and could have done without five or six tracks, but the potpourri of sounds which form ‘The Prodigal’ sometimes serve as a welcome distraction. The album borrows from Ghana on ‘Odo’ and ‘Fly Away,’ employs Folk on ‘I Do,’ visits old P Square sounds on ‘Paloma,’ ‘I Love You,’ and Afrobeat on ‘I No Like Trouble.’
Amapiano forms the basis of ‘Eh Lo,’ R&B inspires ‘Grow Old’ and The Caribbean inspires ‘Lola Diego,’ ‘Boyfriend,’ and ‘Just Like That.’
The album also samples classic records like Marvin Gaye’s ‘Sexual Healing’ on ‘Odo’ and Blu Cantrell’s ‘Breathe’ on ‘Follow My Lead’ featuring Wande Coal.
But by the end of this album, four tracks really resonate on a high level and they are ‘Lola Diego,’ ‘Eh Lo,’ ‘Fly Away’ and the incredible ‘Follow My Lead.’
• 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
Album Sequencing: 1.2/2
Songwriting and Themes: 1.2/2
Enjoyability and Satisfaction: 1.2/2
6.0 – Victory