It only takes a few seconds to lose oneself in this ultra-sensual neo-soul blend from this fascinating Nigerian artist who grew up in Paris and lives in Berlin. A sprinkle of pop, a dash of electro and a few pinches of jazz a little later on (Kokoroko guitarist Oscar Jerome is part of the mix), Figurine turns the codes of modern R&B upside down by tweaking only the smallest of details. Produced by Frenchman Crayon for the Roche Musique label, the album is first and foremost a vast patchwork of past, present and future sound textures—like an Afro-futurism soundtrack that fires the legacy of Marvin Gaye and Sade into a completely new realm.
Though Wayne Snow's main goal here may be to conquer his own cultural and musical identity, he is also striving to answer some of the wider questions of our time. As for the feeling of bewitchment, this mainly comes from the fact that this soulman, rooted in the present, never ends up sounding like an umpteenth subpar Frank Ocean. Wayne Snow is an original musician, as he shows us with this phenomenal record.