Review by Emily Smith

Love is complex. It’s not always as sunny and pleasurable as many pop songs portray it. There are often issues with communication, differing feelings, and heartache. Without sugarcoating it, this is what Nigerian hip-hop/soul/Afrobeat musician Blackmagic expresses in his latest single “No Need” as he sings the line that encapsulates the meaning of the whole song: “Not every love story is a romance.”

The track begins with piano and a beat that bounces around it before being accompanied by some deep, muted vocals. These kinds of vocals appear throughout the chorus, where the singer will repeat lyrics such as “All that glitters, is not gold” in this lower register; which is so low that it sounds more like humming. These are softly sung, and barely audible to the listener. Yet these softly spoken moments add an element of sadness, or even shame to the overall tone of the song.

The vocals, in general, are very lax and smooth throughout the entire song, even during the verses where he raps. These provide the song with a very laid-back tone. They also pair nicely with the accompanying female vocals in the chorus as they sing the titular lyrics “No need.” Alongside these vocals is a prominent deep bass that adds some warmth throughout the song.

The main strength of this track, however, is the lyrics. Sonically, the flow of the rhymes is impressive. One lyric that stands out is, “No need to reason certain things, uncertainties / Unless you wan reason some certain things,” which almost acts like a tongue twister, yet fits well into the song. These lyrics and many others are about not letting the complexities and uncertainties of love hang over one’s head, and to let the relationship take its course.

We get the same feeling with lyrics like, “Suppress my belief/ I accept my disease/ That’s the truth to me/ I won’t accept no freaking lies/ Cross your T’s and dot your I’s.” There are also themes of how difficult it is to communicate with your significant other, as expressed in the lyrics “To say what’s on my mind/ It’s just so difficult/ That’s why I’m spitting cold,” which show how it’s easier to sing about these feelings to an audience than a loved one.

Though the vocals are lax, they still subtly express emotion. For instance, there is a pause after the lyrics “I could have managed but…” before resuming with the lyrics “…no need.” That pause acts like a catch or lump in the throat, that adds some sadness and vulnerability to the song.

The track is overall an engaging listen and a keen statement on some of the rougher parts about relationships.