THE REVIEW: Nneka’s ‘Soul Is Heavy’

Sometimes the rain comes and wets everything but when you look at 31-year-old Nneka, you realize that the sunshine in her voice has embodied her to distinctly approach her music in a refreshing sound that has enabled her to touch the heart of her fans. It may sound crazy to some but when you listen to Nneka’s voice; it feels like holding pieces of gold in your hands. In an industry where image matters more than the ability to sing, Nneka proves that she has the talent to write and sing about a well balance combination of hip-hop, reggae grooves and African-beats.

‘Soul Is Heavy,’ Nneka’s third studio album and the follow-up to 2008’s ‘No Longer at Ease,’ includes collaborations with Ms. Dynamite (“Sleep”) and The Roots MC Black Thought (“God Knows Why.”)

The politically conscious soul vocalist, who has been an expert at blending and addressing tough issues through her music, gives us a more personal touch on “Stay” and a more edgy sound on the dancing beat of “Restless,” while giving us a more confident sense of love on the heart stopper “Do You Love Me Now.”

As the fifteen-track album progresses, you find yourself listening to an emergence of her own individuality that makes her sound like a mix of Lauryn Hill and Erykah Badu. A bit heavy at times, ‘Soul Is Heavy’ still paints a clear description of Nneka’s picture of the world and her reflection about love. Yet, Nneka refuses to accept her misery, but instead chooses to cling to life and to fight for a new beginning that would make her whole again.

“Still I Rise,” a spoken-word introduction in Igbo, closes the album on a more personal note. Through the song, Nneka expresses the strength and the determination of a woman that is trying to overcome her own battles amid the chaos that surrounds her life.

The hour long ‘Soul Is Heavy’ set gives you the spectrum of listening to an affirmative and compelling effortless concept of concrete love, spiritual despair and inspiration.


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