For most Nigerians, the numbers, ‘1960’ is reminiscent of the year Nigeria gained her independence. Although dedicated to the year her mother was born, 1960, Eva uses this album to tell a story- one of independence, freedom, and self-awareness.
This album cannot be talked about without addressing the delays, disappointments, and announcements on this one album. This has placed the bar high for the album since such delays will mean that the album will be great. It has to be. Two years since the first announcement, the album is finally out.
The Nigerian music industry has experienced a rapid nose dive in rap music which Eva amongst other rappers is trying to preserve. She has done this through her mixtape, E.P, and videos. So the question on everyone’s mind is did she do the same and more in 1960?
The album opens up with Eva in TTTMB “Okay do you see me now? I’m here and they wonder how a black girl with dreams from the South will have it all figured out.” In this track, she leans towards a more dark tone with an eccentric force that sets the pace for the rest of the album. With the use of chants and a peculiar beat, Eva builds a unique yet twisted type of feeling in the song.
The message of self-awareness and vulnerability continues with the surprising but dazzling collaboration with Yemi Alade in the mystical sounding Mbali which means flower in Zulu. The rapper bears her soul with lines like “I look fly on the outside, but I’m patched up on the inside,” and “the things that we just keep holding on to, they not even gonna make us feel good”. Eva speaks of her thoughts and issues on this track. This shows that this album was forged in a furnace of total honesty.
Yaba captures the sound and style Eva is generally known for. A similar message from Mbali recurs in ‘Pretty’. Through her descriptive songwriting, we get a glimpse into her inner struggles and her battle with the world and its standards, “Stress, all of this stress, look at this pimples”.
The upbeat ‘For My Momma’ is filled with a beautiful message of wanting to give back to a woman who sacrificed a lot for her “I’m tryna buy a house for my momma momma, yea yea that’s right”. This track has a 2 minute 33 seconds skit with Eva and her mum reminiscing. Although it was a personal touch, it was a tad bit too long and somewhat unnecessary.
“Sweet Little Girl” is a Reggae-inspired rendition which gives motivation that everything is possible. Femi Kuti steps in performing brilliantly on the saxophone on ‘Woman’; with Eva rendering a high life inspired rap. ‘Dance With You’ featuring Dare Art Alade is a sensual Carribean inspired track.
Eva’s previous works like “Kanayo, Deaf, Deaf & Dumb and War coming” were included on this album. Although they are very good songs with amazing features, it left the album needing a hint of something new as four old tracks in an album that was postponed for years is a big error. All new tracks were expected with the amount of time that went into this album.
All in all, 1960 was a good album. Eva showcased her impressive writing skills and her ability to work with different genres. Aside from the voice notes that deemed unnecessary as they could be converted into a song, the album is definitely one to listen to. It has the potentials of transcending you into different mind frames and emotions.