Album Review | "Risk Assessment - Papa Shango

Album Review | "Risk Assessment - Papa Shango
Spotify Cover - Papa Shango

Tracks

  1. Flight Check
  2. The Waltz
  3. Sexy Doctor
  4. Check Your Phone
  5. Monsters of Rock
  6. Powercut
  7. Lösch das Feuer
  8. Master Baker
  9. Love Sponge '87
  10. Nine Dart Finish
  11. Water Sports
  12. Bad Dreams
  13. Powercut (Batteries Included)
  14. Check Your Phone (5G)

Review

Hailing from England, the 12-member rock outfit - filled with dancers, backup vocalists, and more - Papa Shango released their 14-track album "Risk Assessment" in October of 2022.

The first song "Flight Check" starts off with an airport intercom sample before bright guitar riffage accompanies a self-aware introductory to "Papa Shango Airways". Papa Shango's funky instrumental riffs seem to mix a blues sound with groovy rock. Male singing is contrasted by soaring female backup vocals creating a sense of duality and versatility in the band's sound. "Flight Check" features a catchy melodic chorus filled with powerful vocals and ambient flutes filling in the atmosphere alongside dynamic guitar chords.

"The Waltz" starts off with a regal intro that unexpectedly explodes into dark and ominous circus-inspired rock instrumentals filled with energetic chanting and electrifying guitar chords. Papa Shango does an excellent job of keeping a diversified sound, utilizing unique instruments like harpsichords to create a distinct atmosphere that differentiates "The Waltz" from the rest of the album so far.

The third track "Sexy Doctor" starts off with a phone call sample in Spanish that transitions into building drums. Papa Shango uses intentionally hectic instrumentals with harmonics, dissonance, and more to create a chaos-infused style. With sarcasm and humor mixed into the band's lyrics, Papa Shango keeps the LP interesting with entertaining themes throughout each track. With intensely melodic choruses filled with female vocals, "Sexy Doctor" creates a catchy chorus with strong vocal hooks.

"Check Your Phone" creates a musical commentary on the dependency on mobile phones in the modern world. With meaningful lyrics, while keeping a light and playful attitude, Papa Shango creates an attractive track with "Check Your Phone". Papa Shango blends rapid rapping into the track, showing a multitude of vocal techniques that keeps the song interesting and attention-grabbing throughout.

"Monsters of Rock" starts with heavy-hitting guitar riffage that builds up in combination with powerful chants with multiple vocal tracks. Papa Shango features classic rock riffs in short increments showing the band's rock influences in a creative way that pays homage to the rock greats. With samples of cheering crowds, "Monsters of Rock" makes the listener feel as though they are experiencing the song in a live setting. With bright guitar melodies and piercing organs, Papa Shango creates a classical rock style that matches the song's theme excellently.

"Powercut" starts with a ringing doorbell before launching into soaring guitar and an anthemic, stadium-worthy chorus. With an 80s and 90s-influenced rock sound, Papa Shango creates a powerful and well-crafted atmosphere that brings back a feeling of nostalgia. Clocking in at just over 6 minutes, "Powercut" features a bridge where the song cuts out and Papa Shango must restart the power before the song fades out with a final chorus.

"Lösch das Feuer" starts with a dramatic choir with distant sirens before introducing German vocals, creating a dark and ominous atmosphere. Papa Shango creates a theatrical soundscape through the use of powerful German vocals, intense choirs, and crushingly heavy guitar tones. Bringing a new and intense vibe to the album, Papa Shango continues to keep the album interesting with drastic changes between songs.

"Master Baker" starts with funky bass and ringing guitar introducing the song. With satirical and funny lyrics, particularly in the chorus, Papa Shango creates a catchy song filled with humorous innuendo. "Master Baker" furthers Papa Shango's quirky and playful themes throughout their music, creating interesting and wildly amusing tracks.

"Love Sponge '87" starts with ethereal synth and keyboard tones, creating an 80's disco/synth-wave sound that is soon injected with a bustling rock energy. Bright synths further the disco sound in the song's chorus, mixing Papa Shango's electrifying rock sound with the distinct sound of 80's pop and dance music.

The 10th song of the album, "Nine Dart Finish" starts with grooving rock that launches the listener into a dynamic chorus quickly. Bringing back the ambient flutes from earlier in the LP, "Nine Dart Finish" is a 3-minute track with an upbeat and c0mpact style.

"Water Sports" takes the form of a bluesy rock track filled with growling synths in the style of 80's funk. With funny lyrics filled with irony and a lively atmosphere, Papa Shango continues the band's bizarre yet delightful sound that fans will certainly enjoy.

"Bad Dream" slows things down, with gentle humming and clean guitar as the band guides you through a meditation before exploding into screams in an intentional sonic disruption. Papa Shango furthers their sense of humor with a meditative relaxing track that is interrupted by explosions of hectic sound in satire.

"Powercut (Batteries Included) and "Check Your Phone (5G)" are shorter versions of the earlier tracks without samples and comedic bits in the middle, finishing out the album with a familiar sound.

Overall Papa Shango mixes classic rock, rap rock, and a brilliant sense of humor to create a bizarre yet entirely fun blend of music. You can check out their latest album "Risk Assessment" out everywhere now!


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