Updated: Sep 1, 2022
By Brittany Hoskins
This week's album review comes from Nigerian singer-songwriter and producer: Tems! In an interview with AfroPunk, Tems states that she wants her music to be a “source of hope”, especially for people on the continent of Africa and the victims of the diaspora in France. I would say that her discography up to this point is living up to this hope. She said it herself: we’ve only seen about 20% of what she can do musically, and I know one day she will blow the world away with her music.
She currently has one album out (For Broken Ears (2020)) and a couple of singles, but what caught my eye was Her EP: If Orange Was A Place (2021)!
I discovered Tems for the first time about a year and a half ago from her feature with WizKid in “Essence”. Love WizKid, but Tems actually MADE the song like for real. She took the same ability to capture the Afrobeats vibe and applied it to all 5 songs in her EP.
She combines Afrobeats with R&B and ices it over with a rich, melodious voice that allows her to stand her ground among some of the best R&B singers in the game. I could easily write an entire dissertation on why this 18 minute EP is really good, but since Tems is known for bringing a visual component to her audios, I’ll give a visual album review!
Overall, I give this EP a 7/10. Listeners get what they paid for with this EP. If you liked Tems’ vibe on ‘Essence’ then these 5 songs will absolutely not disappoint. She incorporates Afro-Caribbean elements with R&B very well and her voice is soulful. Tems stayed consistent throughout the entire EP, however, I would have liked to have heard a different type of rhythm. But you know what they say, “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it” and Tems showed her strengths with this one. Also, the album cover is beautiful! The color orange is usually associated with joy, warmth, and creativity, and Tems aligned the songs and vibe of this album perfectly with these words.