Born in Kaduna, Nigeria to parents of Abia State origin, Buchi’s early education began in Enugu and took him through Methodist College, Uzuakoli and Federal Government College, Enugu. In 1983, he came to Lagos to study English Language and Literary Studies at the University of Lagos, obtained a BA in 1986, MA in 1988 and later same year took up an appointment to lecture at the same institution alongside a PhD program. Buchi remained at the Department of English until 1994 when he yielded to the higher calling to propagate the gospel of Jesus through writing and singing same in the reggae genre.

It has been a long road for Buchi, but it’s all covered on his latest CD, the career retrospective thus far, Over The Years. It has sixteen of his most well-known songs, but not everyone is familiar with him and his more or less Christian based reggae music. It has been getting around in more than just religious circles, for its variety of other genres applied. But it falls along the lines of world music just as much as the others. It’s not hard to like it and pick up on the enthusiasm Buchi has been spreading, so it deserves a strong recommendation.

Kicking off with “Jesus Must be Honored” any music lover that isn’t devoid of its spiritual healing factors, shouldn’t pass what is feel good music just because of that. Buchi is never pressing down on hate buttons, it’s all about love and honor for people and good music. You just don’t find much with any Christian themes getting around enough, so, reviewing this is a pleasure. You can dance to “Three In one” as it preaches the good word of Jesus, or you can sit back and relax to “Blessed Paradox” with its atmospheric realities, including splashing water. And that just gives a little insight to the variety of sounds that both heal and somehow coach both the more and less divine listener. You get “It Is Well(the Coconut version” with its obvious cerebral intentions that are well-stepped into the vacation/island side of reggae to preach its messages. Not to mention the also cerebral bonus track “Rhapsody” which is a supreme tune that centers are more healing factors. One chapter a day out of the good book and you can know more about these realities, if you’re inclined to follow the lyrics. But you’ll already know that, if so. There is a lot of positive, medicinal message in this, and it’s backed by a great arrangement with some nifty beat-tracking. You can’t help but let this music do what it does, and that is heal the mind, body, soul and heart of those who let it.

There is nothing to criticize here, for Buchi has been around long enough to get it right, and this compilation proves it with every song. This isn’t straight-forward hardcore Christian rock music. It seems to contain the vernacular, and I can tell that much by way of such a varied compilation. You probably don’t have to hear a whole album but might want to, after delving into the best of his work. But you can judge between it all and these selections as well. It just appears to cover it all. From the upbeat vibes of “Born Again” to the chanting of “What a Mighty God.” They all have something for the music lover without forcing religion down the ears, although anyone reaching for it should know of its nature, but even if they didn’t, it would please on the musical varieties alone. Even though almost all of it has a strong reggae power to it, the most dominant force it the Christian presence. But having said that it crosses over as well as any in the process. There’s just something here for everyone, or you’re listening to too much of the same thing all the time. That’s just another way to put how Buchi can have a positive effect without converting the listener if they don’t want to be.

I-TUNES: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/over-the-years/id1210856615


Larry Toering