On his second full-length, pop stylist Tunde Olaniran works his warm voice against the backdrop of a carnival of styles. On the catchy “I’m Here,” Olaniran bangs it out like MJ for the 21st century. On “Miracle” he tries on a de rigueur pop trope—the self-acceptance anthem, bringing freshness and fun to a blueprint laid out by Whitney, Pink, et al. He waxes playful on “Celine Dion,” and shows off on “Coins,” snapping a picture of what a mash-up of Big Freedia, Cardi, and CupkakKe might look like. Olaniran goes big on “Enemies,” proving that the pop-power ballad is far from dead. On a couple of tracks, his innate charisma and invitingly smooth crooning distract from the lyrical sparseness, but Stranger is still the pop caffeine you’ll need to pull through those long, fall subway rides. (4/5)
By Camille Collins
Stranger was released October 5.
This article originally appeared in the October/November 2018 print edition of BUST Magazine. Subscribe today!
More from BUST