Adrenaline by Zainab Sule 

Released on the 23rd of March, Adrenaline is the latest track from Nigerian artist Zainab Sule. The song is based on a common theme in popular music throughout the ages: substance abuse. Sule saw how artists have used this as a way of fitting in, creating a ‘high’ which is then thought to produce musical expression. On the subject, she has stated that the “secret is in finding a different source of ‘high’. Which is the general theme of what the song is about – something better.” Adrenaline is the lead single of her upcoming third album set to be released in the last few months of 2017. 

My first thought when I heard this track was ‘is she a fan of the eighties?’, as the opening sequence reminded me of Gloria Gaynor’s I Will Survive. As you would expect of something that reminds you of a great pop song, the music itself was well structured and used classic pop techniques to build and release tension. Although I thought the guitar solo was perfect for the song, the synth strings were too obviously synthesised and sounded mechanical. Since this track is a pop/rock piece, Sule’s sometimes shaky vocals worked in a more positive slant than it would have if it were a different genre. Her vocals were rough, sometimes employing a grungy quality to notes which I enjoyed. I would have liked to hear more of that in the last chorus on the end syllable of ‘adrenaline’. 

Overall, I think the track is a solid debut for the new year. As a matter of personal taste, I think that Sule could have made some of her vocal notes less shaky in pitch but put a rougher tonal quality on them. The music behind the melody was of a high quality compositionally and for that I commend everyone involved. I give the track 7.5/10. 

Get the song on CDbaby

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