Tunde Akin presents an extensive, immersive collection of beautifully expressive and supremely produced tracks for this album Flourish. The title introduces things well, though there are so many intricate levels to the project – so many different subject matters and musical directions. Always you get to enjoy professionalism and creativity intertwined. Akin is passionate, powerful and intelligent with his writing – the songs on this project utilise musical escapism and melody brilliantly.
Poetry (feat. Lady Zuumah) starts things up with a fairly familiar and lightly joyful summer soundscape, accompanied by the first of many outpourings of smart ideas and a deeper level of thinking. For a Lifetime follows and lifts the mood with multiple layers of energy and colour – a faster vocal pace, and a stream of impressive rhymes that celebrate life and inspire thoughts of progression, gratitude and possibility.
Good Boy is one of the first notably specific, detailed tracks that takes you through a full story-line – you feel inspired at the same time as feeling closer to the artist and his experience within the world. The song offers a fantastic groove. A personal favourite and one with definite potential from a mainstream, memorable perspective. Akin starts to impress more and more so as the album goes on.
Story of my Life tips its hat to classic hip hop with a darker, more thoughtful aura and a sense of confidence and weight. Still Akin exercises his poetic abilities and keeps you captivated. The latter half in particular holds tight to your interest and affection. Later on, Precious (feat. Oladi) is romantically heartfelt and introduces a hint of vulnerability; another side to the artist’s approach that appeals for its authentic depth.
Genius Zone is another highlight for its intensity and the shiver-inducing aura of the soundscape. Akin’s lyrical gravity is mesmerising. There are far too many moments to quote – better simply to state that there is absolutely no filler on this album. Only ideas with value are expressed, and there are many of them. Whether you need this music to drive you through to the next stages of your ambition, to pick you up out of a lull, or to enhance an event or evening with those you hold close – the playlist has you covered.
Eclecticism and honesty are crucial features in giving this album flow and appeal. There are dashes of jazz and joy, of vocal melody, as much as there are of the heavier side of electronic music and hip hop. Whichever it may be, Tunde Akin pours his soul and his truth into the process, and this is beautiful to connect with. The Little Things (feat. Nina Monet) is a sweet example of all of this. The album in full though is every bit as wonderful and uplifting as its title promises.
Don’t be fooled by the ways of your mind, it only tells a piece of your story… (Flourish Interlude)
Nepotism is a latter half lyrical highlight, the quick succession in the rhyme scheme is impressive and holds your attention well. Inscape follows with a cinematic weight to uplift and lyrically open the mind. Getting What I’m Owed then adds a classic rap groove and a brilliantly rhythmic few minutes of short lines and simple motivation.
Never Enough reignites the pure joy and togetherness of nineties RnB, alongside a hopeful and easy going rap flow – all of which lightens the mood. Still there’s truth, it’s not always rainbows and butterflies – Akin keeps things real without letting the darkness dampen the journey. Second Chances (feat. Deacon) feels fairly similar in mood but throws something mellow and thoughtful back into the mix. The lyrics again suggest vulnerability and honesty, genuine humanity – complete with struggle and strength united.
Wildest Dreams has a classic feel but offers a wash of synths that light up something new. The lyrics hit hard and by this point you’re ready to replay the project several times until it has that familiar, addiction-satisfied glow to it. Life is hard for so many people – art of this nature lets you feel less alone in that, and far more capable.
For Jade finishes things up with a touch of heartfelt story-telling and a soundscape that gradually gathers momentum. A lasting dedication to someone who matters deeply, and a beautiful way to go out.
Flourish is a total recommend, an easy album to return to again and again as 2019 kicks into gear. The vocal sound, the ideas, the conscious nature of the writing and the clever ways in which it’s presented, the musical soundscapes, the energy, the love – the list goes on. Almost certainly a modern-day masterpiece, a guided journey through self-discovery and self-empowerment. Enjoy the music and let it work its magic for you.