Davido – Timeless

A career high from the afrobeats star...

2022 was not kind to Davido. The Nigerian artist endured unimaginable personal tragedy, with his young son drowning in an accident. New album ‘Timeless’ finds the afrobeats kingpin refusing to dwell on the past – catharsis comes through living, and embracing the future. Freeing himself from grief, he’s delivered a blockbuster, one that pivots between adoration of his Nigerian roots and a willingness to embrace global diasporic sounds.

The lush saxophone cry of ‘OVER DEM’ leads into an album dominated by sonic opulence. Afrobeats has grown to become one of 21st century pop’s defining sounds. ‘FEEL’ is neat, tightly controlled, while the movement between choppy guitar lines and Morravey’s stunning guest vocal on ‘IN THE GARDEN’ further illustrate Davido’s role as curator.

Indeed, it’s a sign of the kingpin’s creative confidence that he’s happy to take a backseat at times, his presence forever marked on an album dominated by his shadow. Dexta Daps fires up ‘BOP’, while highlife crew The Cavemen are incorporated on ‘NA MONEY’, a song that nods to old school West African flavours.

When he takes the mic, though, few of his peers can rival him. ‘E PAIN ME’ speaks from the heart, while summer-fresh burner ‘PRECISION’ feels like a festival anthem in waiting – right down to that explosive airhorn.

An ambitious yet extremely finessed record, ‘Timeless’ contains all manner of highlights. Indeed, Davido rarely falters across its 17 track span – Asake amplifies ‘NO COMPETITION’, a sign of the raw talent emanating from Nigeria, and it’s capability of global impact. This international reach inspires ‘U (JUJU)’ with Davido dialling in some UK help – yep, it’s a Skepta feature, one that continues the North London artist’s superb run of late. Never giving less than elite level, Skepta gives it his all for one of the record’s true peaks.

Closing with renegade shuffler ‘Champion Sound’, ‘Timeless’ is easily one of Davido’s most mature, rounded projects. Grappling with new challenges, the Lagos pioneer extends his reign, and broadens his stature – a superb all-round project from a modern great. 


Words: Robin Murray

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