Nigerian artist Burna Boy arrived a fully formed pop star with some of his earliest hits, but fifth album Twice as Tall finds him adding new depth to his always smooth blend of contemporary African pop styles. A more personal perspective guides much of Twice as Tall, with Burna Boy delving into moody, self-reflective lyrics about his rise to fame and his personal convictions. Musically, Twice as Tall is a magnificently polished concoction, seamlessly blurring elements of radio pop, dancehall, rap, Afro-beat and the kind of flowing Caribbean rhythms that inform album standout "Wonderful." The production is at the same level of detail and quality that Burna Boy has maintained for most of his releases, but the songs flow in a cohesive, sometimes narrative fashion that offers a more direct emotional impact than some of his earlier work. Several big-name stars appear over the course of the album's 15-song track listing. Senegalese superstar Youssou N'Dour adds guest vocals to opening track "Level Up (Twice as Tall)," and elsewhere cameos crop up from hip-hop legends Naughty by Nature, Kenyan soul group Sauti Sol, Coldplay's Chris Martin, and British rapper Stormzy.
Twice as Tall Review
by Fred Thomas