I first told you about Elom 20ce in the very early days of the blog, with an African vibes article that introduced him and his music. I am now very happy to present to you his new album, Analgézik. One of the things I appreciate most when following artists for several years is seeing them evolve, grow and progress. With this album, Elom 20ce proves his versatility and maturity, as he explores more personal themes and uses more varied instrumentals as a background to his well-written rhymes. While he still deals with Africa and its social or political issues, he seems to open up a bit more and share his moments of doubt and darkness. Music is an “Analgézik” though, and allows both the artist and the listener to soothe their pain and heal. When I listened to the first half or so of the album, I immediately thought of some of the 90s French hip-hop classics and more precisely solo projects by Marseillais MCs Akhenaton and Shurik’n (part of the group IAM). The music, the themes, the delivery, everything was reminiscent of this “golden era” and brought me back in time, when I discovered hip-hop and fell in love with it. Despite this throwback element, there is not only nostalgia and you can find modern elements in the instrumentals and of course the lyrics. After this travel back in time, I continued the journey with more eclecticism and some jazzy or even soulful touches that are a change from what Elom 20ce did on previous projects, which is most appreciated. On tracks like Ya Foye or Analgéblues, more precisely, the horns emphasise the lyrics and Kézita’s beautiful voice on the second track makes it one of my favourites of the album.
The lyrics, as mentioned earlier, are a mixture of personal experience and social/political commentary but are always extremely well-written and witty, a testimony to Elom 20ce’s incredible ability to use words to express his thoughts and feelings in a creative way. While Des ténèbres à la lumière (“From Darkness to light) and Le prix de ma conscience (“The price of my conscience”) are the most introspective tracks of the album and see the MC share his innermost thoughts, others like 05 Octobre 1990, Africa Is Not Dead, or Libres et sauvages are clearly dealing with Africa and the world, shedding light on some of the current social and political issues plaguing the continent. On those tracks, Elom 20ce is teaming up with long time collaborators Eklin, Bricce, Fenetik and RAO Staff, who give even more weight to the messages spread. Of course you won’t get all of the depth of the lyrics if you don’t understand French, but you should still be able to feel the energy through the music and delivery, which speak for themselves. You could also learn French, which is always a useful thing to do… With Analgézik, the Togolese MC proves once again how knowledgeable and talented he is, putting his lyrical skills and seamless flow at the service of his country and continent, by spreading messages that may not be heard or taken into account otherwise. What makes the album so interesting though, is that it’s not all about politics, since there is this personal element and above all a very literary, almost poetic approach to music and hip-hop, which is greatly refreshing.
Now that you know a bit more about Elom 20ce and Analgézik, discover the official video for Lumière, featuring Renya. This is one of the most beautiful tracks of the album and the visuals really do it justice.
Because there is never too much of a good thing, let me share with you the video for Ya Foye, another one of my favourites and probably the most positive and optimistic track of the album.
After this appetiser, it is now time for you to discover the album, that you can buy on . You can also preview a couple of songs on Bandcamp, or by clicking on the link below. As usual, support is recommended and appreciated.