Heritage – Jahdiel

Certain songs are hostage-takers. They hold their victims in captivity and let them go only briefly when the song comes to an end. Even then, the defenseless victim would wish for more ‘captivity’ in an encore that leaves him, again and again enthralled and completely at the mercy of the song. Sometimes, it is the correspondence of the vowel sounds at the end of a line when the guitar is strummed; at other times too, it turns out that there is something about the way the musical instruments respond to the vocalist. Sometimes too, with help from synthesizers, songs have become music and music songs.

Jahdiel’s Heritage is an example of such a song. A 12-song album, it seems to have only one of them, Heritage, cutting some ice with anyone listening to it. As a song, Heritage is a song of gold, at least from a Christian perspective. The most significant thing about it is not only that it alludes to Psalm 16: O Lord, You are the portion of my inheritance and my cup; / The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places,/ Yes, I have a good inheritance; what is really significant however, is that the song has a video CD that interprets the song and lumps it onto great heights with other songs like Olori-Oko. And that is why, anyone thinking of embarking on a pilgrimage of self-discovery as a Christian without needing to travel to Jerusalem would do well to listen to Heritage in the comfort of their sitting room. However, quite unlike Olori-Oko that preaches a sermon of Armageddon, Jahdiel’s genre has a Christian theme of God’s heritage of undying love for his people. Its theme is that Christians are scions of an international community who are ambassadors of the Most High on earth, with Zion as their country of residence. She sings about their heritage: their ability to speak in an unknown tongue and heal the sick. And she does this with declarative sentences that leave you with the bite of an octopus, the kind of marks a lover leaves unconsciously in moments of ecstasy. Her rendition, spontaneous as it seems, comes in three languages: in English, pidgin and the other done in exclamatory sentences from her Edo background.

However, the eleven other songs on the album are not as engaging as the hit-tract, Heritage. And this may mostly be due to the less-than-passionate, less-than-soulful, and less-than-rhythmic rendition of the other songs that makes the listener nearly begin to have second thoughts. While it may not be said that the same less-than-passionate, less-than-soulful and less-than-rhythmic quality that runs right hit songs like Infinity’s Olori-Oko, and Nicole Mullen’s My Redeemer Lives, the tendency seems to be that hit songs of the genre of Heritage are the tonic that an album needs as a selling point. Just at that point when a listener begins to develop initial skepticism, the unseen hands of a muse take hold, and even though they want to struggle to remain placid, their era of captivity begins to set in: something of the soul and the rhythm and the passion that had been absent in the other songs begin to register slowly but strongly. Producers of the album, Leisuretyme Production seem to be employing the ‘old-school’ but effective tactic that the producers of hit songs like Marvin Gaye’s Sexual Healing and the Macarena: a hit could be an album’s selling point but that in reality may not mean that all the other songs are poor. The hit merely eclipses all the others. That was what seemed to be the case with Jahdiel’s Heritage.

4 thoughts on “Heritage – Jahdiel

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

*