Ekip's sophomore album has been highly anticipated by fans all over the HMI. I know a lot of fans were a bit worried about this album because the standards are very high now due to many great recent releases. – Ekip would need to surpass their debut album which was just OK. But I must say this second album is worth the wait. Many things to like about it - the lyrics, the melody of each song, the story behind each song,
Some of the songs on the album epitomize the struggles of keeping strong relationships, describing a range of problems such as messy situations with exes (“Separasyon”), feeling like an outsider (“Bèl Tifi”) featuring Leroy Beat and facing the effects of jealousy (“l’m jealous”). As members of this target audience, the songs may relate to them in many ways, which may differ from how someone else interprets them. The lyrics are written skillfully, creating slight ambiguity which allows songs to be interpreted differently by the audience.
Stevee Khe’s vocal talent was showcased right off the bat with the first song “Makiye mizè’w” , which is also the album’s title, in which a sharp brass section expertly complemented his crisp vocals. Songs like “sa’n poko wè la” and “viktim” give listeners an easy reminder as to why he became an household name in the HMI in the first place.
A personal favorite track from the album is the seventh song, “I’m jealous.” The beautiful melody immediately grabbed my attention. The lyrics are poignant and convey jealousy in a very unique way. This album exhibits a range of different sensitive topics and styles presented through the lyrics.
With this sophomore album, “Makiye mizè’w, band leader Shabba, is venturing into new musical territories. This expansion fully showcased his musical talents. Shabba also exhibits an improved vocal range as he hits each note quite well especially in “separasyon” blended with the unique vocals of Bedjine. Her distinctive voice easily resonates with a broad audience and is easily recognizable.
Amidst many upbeat and some energetic tracks, the band takes some time to slow things down a bit. “Minote’m” “dwat lan lari”, “please” add a balance, with softer vocals creating a perfect mosaic.
One of my concern is the overall songwriting style. While the lyrics are portrayed smartly, most revolve around prevalent themes like troubled relationships, drama within friendships and different social issues. The execution lacks moments that stand out, making it difficult for the narratives to truly captivate the audience.
While Ekip has found liveliness through this album, I am more worried about the band ‘s inability to discover its own musical identity. Nevertheless, navigating the challenge of finding one’s musical identity amid today’s diverse sounds, is undoubtedly complex and challenging. this album “Makiye mizè’w ” shows modest improvement from the first album but doesn’t display musical identity.
Overall, this album is great. The upbeat, slow songs that you can’t help and dance like no one is watching are phenomenal. The emotionally-charged lyrics, paired with the beautifully-produced hymns, will leave an unlashing effect in your heart. This album shows how the band has evolved and how they’re experimenting with other elements on each track. I felt the emotion going into each and every syllable on every single track. Steve Khe’s vocals alone will give you chills, the way he can completely flip the song on its head when he hits the bridge and bring it right back is inexplicably genius. D-Perfect’ s unique, raw-throated vocals serenading their way through the songs ' transitions and powerful words remain stimulating to the ears.
This sophomore album is just the tip of the iceberg for Ekip. “Makiye mizè’w” offers an entertaining listen that’s flowing with palpable realities that many can sing along to. Overall, I would rate it an eight out of ten. I have a strong feeling Ekip’s status in the HMI is only going to continue to elevate from here with this album, and I can’t wait to see how Shabba’s songwriting tackle more relatable topics as he continues to mature within the music industry. This is only the beginning.
I highly recommend this album because it is unconventional yet enchanting and entirely worth the wait. I encourage you to put on your headphones, blast it on the speakers in your car, or vibe out at the local clubs.