This statement album, in many respects, is one of the best Compas albums released this year as well as one of T-Vice’s best. T-Vice has never been bolder and more confident about its sound. After nearly 25 years in the business, the band is back stronger and better than ever with this album — Nou Tounen Pi Fò.
The cover features the brothers, Roberto and Renaldo, standing like super heroes over debris of exploded buildings.
Judging from the cover, this album might as well be entitled “Victory” or even “Immortal”, to the extent the picture conveys the message of a band who have been tested in battle and survived. You get a sense of the experience the band has acquired over the years through the many challenges it faced. Its immortality is in full display. T-Vice has done it all seems to be the central theme of the album. “We are here to stay and we are not going anywhere”, assured lead singer/guitarist Roberto Martino. The message to the public is unequivocal: T-Vice will remain a strong contender for as long as the two brothers Roberto and Renaldo are in charge.
There should be no more discussions about T-Vice’s identity and competence when it comes to playing Compas. In the first song of the 11-track album, Nou Tounen Pi Fò, they experiment with different styles hat are out there, but they make sure their own sound bounces on top. Renaldo Martino, the band’s maestro, who is now one of the most reputed Compas producers in the HMI, makes you feel the heavy “bulldozer”. “Men Bulldozer a”, Roberto repeats every time the catchy keyboard solo comes in. Maestro Reynaldo is known for his proven ability when it comes to kick-ass-mix and his mastery of blending in modern sounds to keep up with the evolution of music. He’s the mastermind behind T-Vice’s dominant sound. “Sa’n Tap Chèche a ‘n jwenn/ yo mèt di sa yo vle/ Konpa Dirèk li ye”.
“Moving On”, the album instant hit, is the song in which Roberto sings about his personal experience: his well-documented divorce. You cannot help but to bop on the head when you hear the catchy hook: “M pat vle, pat vle divòse/ gade kijan la vi’m chanje/ fanmi ap separe/ ti moun ape kriye/ rele Papa Bondye — in translation, “I didn’t want to, I didn’t want to get a divorce … look how my life has changed/ the family is broken/ the kid are crying/ I’m calling on to God”. Moving On is by far the most emotional song ever sung by Roberto. The people who were once laughing at him when DJakout #1’s hit Kanaval “Yo Manyen Madan Berto” came out, will suely sympathize with him as he humbles himself to humanize the tragedy. Too many people can relate with that kind of a story. The song is not only a well-written song, the arrangement is also a classic.
Moving On is followed by the right tune, which introduces OlIvier Duret’s successor, Reginald Toussaint aka RegiMuzik. Eske takes listeners on a smooth musical voyage with melodic lyrics. Regimuzik has the vocal ability for T-Vice to continue being a dynamic band in the HMI. The fans who missed Olivier should now feel much better. Regi brings the R&B vibe T-Vice will need to compete with bands like Harmonik and Kai.
T-Vice is testing the international market with Se Pa Sa featuring Mr. Dekole, J. Perry. Although this song lack appeal to become a hit, it will do well with the afro-beat fans. From now on, when T-Vice shares the stage with band like P-Square, it can shine with Se Pa Sa. The concept of the song focuses on perception and reality. It touches on the fact that people are not often what they appear to be. “ Se pa sa/ se pa se pa se pa sa/ yo yo yo sa’w panse a se pa sa”, features both Roberto and J-Perry in duet. “sa kap pran pòz ap byen menmen/ kanpe sou fake ap fè tenten/ pa jije sa’w pa konnen aparans pa vle di anyen”, J-Perry flows then Roberto Martino repeats. There is a crazy horn on that record that brings a Rara element, followed by a “kite Compas mache” sound. This is the best dance song of the album, especially to people unfamiliar to Compas. T-Vice will rock this at the Compa fest.
If one is feeling a bit nostalgic, “Voye Monte” takes you back to the mid-2000s. The song can potentially be a club hit, which takes its listeners straight to Gouyadville. Roberto Martino’s distinctive voice, overlaid with auto-tune, rightfully warns listeners “Mizik Sa Ka Fe’w Fe Male”. The track draws listeners in with its rhythmic and engaging drums, while its sensual lyrics can lead to flirtatious dance moves. Rapper P-Jay’s lyrics bring the instant classic a fresh feel, which satisfies lovers of both Kompa and Hip-Hop. While the song isn’t overly complex, it gives the fans exactly what they love: a good time.
Nou Tounen Pi Fo was blessed with the collaborative efforts of many renowned artists in the HMI. It has guest appearance of one of the best Compas Drummers, Shedley Abraham, who plays on five songs, including Moving On. Elie Lapointe and Alain Fleurine contribute with background vocals, as well as James Monplaisir aka Tilèt on the keys.