The song that has been making waves all through this week…Official Love by Dabz gets another review.
Here’s a review of the song done by Andre Chimezie (@YSAndre64). Enjoy!
OFFICIAL LOVE: DEBUT REVIEW FOR A DEBUT SINGLE
I write this review almost 36 hours after the release of “Official Love”. It’s been crazy. I can’t remember the last time I’ve seen such a buzz over a song done by a gospel artist. PMs were all about it, broadcast messages and rebroadcasts, there was nothing else on my twitter timeline… #OfficialLove #OfficialLove. My weirdest contacts asking me who this Dabz is and where he comes from. It has just been pandemic and honestly, the hype is well deserved. Doubt me? Get the song, stick a good headset into your device and push play. If the song is not on repeat for the rest of the day, then either you are sick or you are a vegetarian.
Yes, Official Love is an “out of this world song”, one that is bound to further the campaign of the currently catching fire music group, CIA of which Dabz is a founding member. Nobody will deny that the group is really making themselves noticed with its individual artist releases. The most recent being Nolly’s JNAI (Jesus na asu igbo), and then this (here you see me purposely not mentioning “simple praise”). Without a doubt, the song is going to go places and will most probably take CIA along with it. Okay, but then that’s probably not all there is to it, otherwise there wouldn’t be need for this review. So let’s get down to it.
Official Love is a very tight song, I can’t say that enough. From the competent production to the bravura vocals, I can only say three things:
1. Vocis is good
2. Dabz, after what some would call a shaky start is finally showing what he can do
3. Recording in a high end studio in Lagos instead of Nsukka makes a world of difference
The beat, the rhythm and tempo all syncs together to give the best of that love song mood. Official Love is a good musical work.
That being said, we go on to talk about the challenges we had with the song. We will say for the very last time here, that we found little or no problems with the musical aspect of the song, the lyrics were well written and the rendition was impeccable (not that we are experts in that area tho).
You start having challenges with the song when you begin to look at the artist. This is Dabz, a gospel artist signed to a gospel record label (correct me if I’m wrong) coming out with a “not so gospel” track. Yes the song is “not so gospel” and by that, I mean downright secular.
“Ah!” you might say, “Another old school born again who wants us to listen to only hymns and praise worship choruses. Doesn’t he know that not all secular songs are bad? That there’s a difference between secular and worldly music?” Trust me I know and agree with all that, but there’s something I mean when I say the song is “not so gospel” and I’ll try and explain.
Now, like I said, I believe Christian artists should make secular songs, in fact I believe that there should be more of such songs out there. Yes, we should sing more songs about money, love, sex and so on. We should do so because a lot of things are being said about these topics which are very wrong. Therefore believers should sing to “unpreach” the things that are being preached. Now this is where my beef with Official Love begins but let me still go further.
Music has become more than just recreation or an outlet; it has become a tool… a weapon. It is a medium for passing ideas and establishing mindsets, well known fact. Now I don’t believe that all gospel tracks (and by that I mean any track done by a believer) should always be about God, worship and stuff, but I believe that every gospel track should establish and enforce the mindset of the gospel.
When a gospel artist sings about love or romance, he should make me understand what God thinks about it; the same for every other topic that is sung about. A gospel artist is a minister… a pastor and whatever mindset he propagates in his music will be bought. Now in that respect, Official Love is empty… no spiritual content whatsoever, it was like Dabz was sitting on the fence.
In Lecrae’s “Special”, when he drops lines like “can’t wait to date you when you are 60 and your hair is grey”, that’s a statement against divorce and the short, artificial relationships that are prevalent in our society today. That line alone teaches the importance of patience and perseverance in Christian marriages.
When Canton Jones says in “Top model”, “I wanna be with you, get to know you and I don’t have to touch your body” We see his take immediately on pre marital sex
When Swoope (WLAK) says in “WLAQ”, “She’s in love with another man and I don’t feel cheated, Jesus” It teaches how God should still be priority even in romantic relationships. The examples are endless, Sho Baraka’s “We can be more”, Canon’s “Beautiful” and so on… secular songs soaked in biblical principles.
Most gospel artists now refuse to answer that name. “I’m a Christian that does music” they say, “You will hear what I believe in in my songs”. Well if that’s the case, what does Dabz believe in? What’s his stand on pre-marital sex, divorce, love etc? Truth is that Official Love didn’t tell us that when it should have. This leaves the song bland with cliché lyrics in the order of 2face Idibia and the rest of them. This is not right, Gospel artists should do more than just tight songs, that’s what unbelievers have been doing since the world go [sic]. We should go further, not just touch the heart, but try to transform it.
And this is probably why the song got so much attention, because of its neutrality. A listener said “this is the first gospel song I’ve listened to without having to feel condemned”, I’m quite sure he meant convicted. The truth is that Official Love is not an addition to the Nigerian gospel music, it rather adds to the secular/worldly music genre even if it’s without intending to do so.
And then there’s the challenge of the “babes in Christ”. Those new converts who we’ve been trying to get to stop listening to Rihanna, Jay Z, 2face et cetera. I’ve been trying to come up with explanations to give when they ask how far. There’s my mum who doesn’t believe that all the song on my phone is gospel because it’s rap and RnB… show her this track and that’s the end for me.
Finally, at the end, I guess it all depends on whether Dabz sees himself as a gospel artist, Does he have ministry embedded in it somewhere? If so and I think I believe so, then this shouldn’t have been the way to go. We feel that a gospel artist shouldn’t have made his debut single a love song. Because your debut should introduce you and what you are all about, who you are and what you stand for. We feel Dabz should have gone hard first before going mushy. If Official Love came after one, two or three songs that focused more God and touched some scriptural issues, it would have made more sense. That way we would be celebrating Dabz versatility. But the way he did it, he just leaves us all confused. We’ve come to notice that when gospel artist want to go worldly, they tend to sing songs like these, then give you the excuse of how they just don’t wanna do music about God but also about the issues of life. Funny tho when you check back, you notice that they now sing about all the issues of life, they now sing about everything except God. So it looks like Dabz joined in at the middle with this his debut track. We can only hope for the best, maybe he wants to break the stereotype or something.
So that’s the review. It is with a heavy heart that I give this song a 3 out of 5. In summary
Nice track, tight beat and vocals
Poor to no spiritual content, song hardly passes as gospel
Wrong debut single for a gospel artist
For what it’s worth though, it’s still on repeat on my phone.
Just incase you haven’t heard the song; here the link http://www.praiseworldradio.com/music-dabz-official-love/