On his debut album, September by Praise Umali grips your attention the minute the first note starts till the end. The melodies, raps, and humming on the album play at the strings of the heart. The album is a journey, one that cannot be afforded to be missed.
Starting his music journey from rap, it is exciting to see Praise Umali finally cement himself in the indie-pop sound. However, it makes it almost perfect to see him diversify and still sound comfortable by the sound. September sounds like a journey, where you don’t necessarily have to know where he began from, but it will remind you of your past, your present, and think of the future.
When he sings, “I hope I left you better than I found you” in the electronic Left You Better, you are taken onto a road of an ex hoping they did not break much of your heart. With the upbeat tune, you cannot help but dance to the song. But it also reflects how positive the whole album is.
September by Praise Umali cont….
However, these aren’t just songs that spread positivity; but they take one into a self-discovery mode. It easily shows that he went through self-reflection and has a better understanding of himself and his artistry. For instance, in ‘September’ the intro, he says “You will stumble every now and then/ and when you’re down/ it is hard to believe again/… on this road, you will find you.”
It also gives hope for the future, especially to those that are often known as dreamers. Perhaps, one of the most beautiful songs on the album is “Pemphera” which takes the form of advice to always pray. Although “Note to Self” could easily beat it by the message it carries
The solidness of the production of the album easily reminds one of Sonyezo’s “Somewhere In Africa”. It is a well-mastered project with catchy ballads and beats. The guitars and ng’oma that features in most of the song appreciate the Malawian sound.
September by Praise Umali is one of those timeless albums that gets better with each listen. You keep loving it, his vocals and the beats on the songs. One of the best to be released in Malawi this year.
My overall rating: