“The Nigerian-born songwriter employs a sultry alto, neo-soul rhythms and super-sunny vibes on her brand new album”.
“Paris-based Nigerian vocalist Bukola “Asa” Elemide is adept at weaving varicoloured musical tapestries: her second album mixes soul, reggae, lyrics in English and Yoruba – and a cover photo by fashionable Frenchman Jean-Baptiste Mondino, which suggests things aren’t quite as homespun as they sound. It’s a warm, inviting blend, with Asa’s husky, lightly swinging vocals its focal point. It’s undeniably cosy listening; Fela Kuti and Bob Marley were childhood idols, but their conscious commentary isn’t Asa’s thing, and when she does address the state of the world, her indignation is couched in wistful platitudes (“Why is there so much religion, yet there is so little love?”). But if Asa is no maverick, she’s very good at making mellow pop about life’s smaller tribulations. The Way I Feel, a scaled-down, finger-snapping blues tune is a beauty, and when she gets her jazz groove on in Bimpé and Be My Man, you wish the songs would never end.”