Bambi by Jidenna: I’ve made no secret of my disdain for Jidenna in the past and was sworn to not like him or his music. I thought he was a pretender to the throne of African greatness; a man who would use an identity he did not value to make music and make change. I was at ease in my judgement and I brought my lack of forgiveness to the fore.
But Bambi floored me. This man can sing the hell out of a song! Except this is not even a song; it is the rantings of a man who has lost his woman set to music.
Malted whisky poured over modern Motown.
There are strong echoes of Sam Cooke and more than a hint of cotton-pickin’ blues. The timbre of his voice makes it sound like his heart is in it; like he really has done a girl wrong before and she upped and married someone else.
The lyrics are breathtaking too. He blames his callous ways on growing up around polygamy and drink. The references to wild animals – lions and cheetahs – suggest a creature that cannot be tamed.
And even with all that, even knowing that he is no good for her, he still desires the power to own her; the knowledge that she would never leave him. Yet leave him, she did. Powerful, soul-rearranging stuff.
Normally, I do these reviews and take an excerpt of the lines that moved me the most. I struggled to do that with this song because every line is needed and essential to the story. There is no filler, no fluff, no la-la-la. Just gut-wrenching lyrics that will give you life. Lyrics that will make you cry if you’ve ever been so stupid; lyrics that will make you grateful if you spotted yours and appreciated it for what it was and in good time too.
Bambi by Jidenna is the truth and nothing but the truth. On this occasion, I sheathe my sword and say I swoon at Jidenna’s mastery of the sung word.
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