Nigerian crooner Wizkid is the king of unignorable dinner-party music: He makes melodic songs that become part of the background but make you want to put that salad fork aside and engage in at least one dance. His voice — a soft warble — is both bold and seductive, enlivening the chill lava-lamp vibes conveyed in his songs.
“Essence,” his spicy 2020 smash with Tems, was everywhere, thanks to its svelte riddim and tasteful modal drone. And throughout his career, Wizkid has refined his sound to a tuneful tee. Earlier projects were full of noisy anthems. But the quintessential Wizkid song is marked by light drums and plush chords. His vocals, meanwhile, lie in the cut, resounding like so much intimate banter.
More Love, Less Ego feels even more self-revealing than Made in Lagos, Wizkid’s stellar 2020 love letter to his hometown. The sound here is fuller and more mature. Less reliant on star-studded features, Wizkid’s fifth album makes fewer concessions to the U.S. mainstream. And it pleasantly builds on its predecessor’s pop-friendly momentum, boasting even more captivating hits — just right for cuffing season. But this vibey LP is sure to last, in any season, like a Russian Doll character.
The sexy “Bad to Me” is driven by a pulsing thump and lucid keys. And the song feels invigorating, built for a late-night slow grind. Wizkid is earnest and lusty, singing, “This kind love, yeah/Wey dey make me want more.” And “Wow,” which features fellow Naija singer Naira Marley and Skepta, is all about stunting in the club. It sports a slick, stop-motion bounce and finds Wizkid eagerly securing a one-night stand: “G’yal, I want go where you want go/And I go tell you tings wey you want know.” The song is so magnetic you could blast it through earbuds (on your way to the laundromat) and still feel like you’re behind the velvet rope.
Another strength of More Love, Less Ego is its seamless fusion of party tracks with inspiring content. On “2 Sugar,” over clean synths and rumbling snares, the Lagos native sings about fighting demons and putting out “the right energy.” And kudos to Wizkid for making songs that are as high-powered as they are high-minded. Similarly, “Everyday,” which opens with a Maya Angelou speech, is about joyful perseverance. Its catchy hook should be a daily affirmation.
There are no weak links here, even if there’s nothing on the level of “Essence.” On “2 Sugar,” when Wizkid chants “bad energy no come my side,” you want to align yourself with whatever vibe he’s got going (more than likely, it’s somewhere on the dance floor). Meanwhile, “Deep,” with its smoky sax and cascading bass notes, is an instant lounge staple. “Lose yourself to the rhythm one time,” he sings, and you wonder, why not 100 more times?
All told, these are soulful, uplifting songs by Afrobeats’ top artist. He’s all about dropping heat, even as he continues to evolve. More Love, Less Ego gives you more life.