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Asa


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Asa
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Audio CD, January 27, 2009
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 27, 2009)
  • Original Release Date: 2009
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Downtown
  • ASIN: B001N6FPPK
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #202,117 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Jailer
2. 360°
3. Bi' ban ké
4. Subway
5. Fire On The Mountain
6. Eyé Àdabá
7. No One Knows
8. Awé
9. Peace
10. So Beautiful

Editorial Reviews

2009 release of the debut album from culturally conscious singer/songwriter Asa (pronounced Ah-shah), who paints a vivid landscape rich in history and deep in its influences. Born in Paris but transplanted to Nigeria where she would spend the remainder of her childhood and adolescence, Asa returned to her birthplace in 2004 and immersed herself in the music of the city. The result is a collection of provocative and savvy songs that are as strikingly personal as they are collectively universal.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 33 customer reviews
Thank you Asa for such beauty.
just a guy
First heard her on an NPR interview, and I'm so glad I got this CD.
M.Harms
This has become one of my favorite CDs.
angiemba

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Nse Ette TOP 1000 REVIEWER on February 8, 2008
Format: Audio CD
Tracklisting for this CD is as follows;

1. Jailer
2. 360
3. Bi'ban ké
4. Subway
5. Fire on the mountain
6. Eyé àdaba
7. No one knows
8. Awé
9. Peace
10. So beautiful
11. Iba

Asa (pronounced Asha) is a 25 year old Nigerian guitarist/songstress with an amazing smoky smooth voice (a bit like Macy Gray or Erykah Badu) and a folk/soul/jazz style akin to Tracy Chapman, India.Arie, Norah Jones, or even Lauryn Hill on her MTv Unplugged disc. I discovered her eponymous debut only last week (after my brother had raved about it) and it is fantastic; breezy acoustic guitar driven music with lovely harmonies, and largely philosophical lyrics. Her enunciation is crisp and clear, and the musicianship and production is top notch! She grew up listening to Marvin Gaye, Fela Kuti, and Bob Marley (among others), has played with artistes like Tony allen, Les Nubians, and Manu Dibango, and has opened for John Legend, Akon and Beyoncé.

Sung mainly in English, with some singing in Yoruba, the songs touch on injustice (the acoustic, reggae tinged bouncy "Jailer"), uncertainties of life ("No one knows", with ethereal harmonies and ever so faint scratching set to a bubbly bass line), alarm at the state of society (the light acoustic "Fire on the mountain" with lyrics like "Hey Mr soldier man /Tomorrow is the day you go to war /But you are fighting for another man's cause /And you don't even know him /What did he say to make you so blind ?" - It has a slight Bob Marley feel), and love (the tender jazzy "Subway").

"360" is an ambient sounding acoustic ballad. Similar is "Bi'ban ké", a love song done in English and Yoruba.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Olukayode Balogun on March 6, 2008
Format: Audio CD
With a recent appearance on Jools Holland''s late night show on BBC2 and AOL UK naming her one of twelve female artistes to look out for in 2008, Paris-born Nigerian Asa's self-titled album is one of the most talked-about in a long while. At least, here in the UK it is. "The pop revelation of Nigerian soul!" is how the sticker label on the front of her CD proclaims her but I'm not sure I would go that far. Which isn't to suggest she isn't soulful at all because she most definitely is, but she reminds me more of someone like Wyclef Jean than any soul artiste I can think of. Still, she displays a unique combination of pop, soul, r&b, world and reggae here and it's really very appealing.

Asa's also been getting plenty of practice on the live circuit, having already opened, apparently, for people as A-list as Beyonce, Akon, Snoop Dogg and John Legend. But it's really thanks to my good Amazon Friend, Nse, that this lady's CD found its way into my collection; if it hadn't been for his excellently written and glowing review of this album (see below), I honestly may not have heard of her or paid her any attention even if I had. He left me gagging to get my hands on it.

Asa weaves her way through songs of defiance, hope, life and wonder, sometimes in English and sometimes in Yoruba - a step I truly admire but a step that might limit her listener numbers nevertheless. Once again, it's all live instruments and lots of strings. She has a very sweet singing voice and I was swept along by her passionate and joyful delivery. I particularly love "Subway", "Eyé Àdabá" and "No One Knows Tomorrow".
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Sakeeq on February 1, 2009
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
There are times when you see something thought-provoking, hear an illuminating sound, or smell an intriguing scent, and you know that something about it just moves you and connects in a way that is rare.

I love it! That is how I felt when I heard the sound and music of Asa [pronounced Asha]. Her sound is so different and unexpected, and her music so fresh, that it was impossible for me not to go looking for more information about her, and to make sure to add everything that she has done to my budding collection. She has an important point of view and the message is unmistakeable in her music.

And I can't decide on which song is my favourite on her album...I've rarely been in this quandry (So Beautiful is the favourite of the minute, with Jailer, Fire on the mountain, 360 degrees, Bibanké, Subway, No one knows, Awé, and Peace coming in very close seconds!!)
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Robert Cain on December 12, 2009
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I've been listlessly going through Rhapsody searching for something to strike my jaded fancy for a couple of days and then this lady simply knocked me over! It's been a real long time since I've been so moved by a new talent.

I could settle for the Rhapsody "to go" download I subscribe to but I've ordered the CD because I want to hear every nuance and simply to support this amazing new talent a little better.

Others have done better than I could possibly attempt as a critical review so I won't even try. There is no way this album could disappoint!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By just a guy on August 6, 2009
Format: Audio CD
I first heard about Asa on Sunday. That same evening, I listened for the first time to one of her songs on youtube. Later that night, I had listened to most of her songs, many times over. On Monday, as soon as I could, I ran to my local music shop to buy her CD (it was the only copy they had, lucky me!) and I've been listening to it ever since...

I've fallen in love...
How strange is that?

When I try to analyse this album, when I try to explain it to friends, it all falls flat. I can't seem to be able to explain it, really. I mean, honestly, if you take it apart, there's nothing groundbreaking here, nothing out of this world, nothing revolutionary... Good tunes, with good lyrics, a nice voice, good musicianship and a polished production... But when I listen to her songs, it's so much more than that... something happens... out of the mixture of all these good and solid elements comes something else all together, something really unique and out-of-worldly, something truly magical... I've listened to her songs for a whole week now, and I'm still just as moved as the first time. No joke, this girl brings tears to my eyes every time I listen to her.

Is it her disarming sincerity and total lack of arrogance? Is it the way she pronounces each word, each sound as if she was lovingly savouring it before sending it out as a gift to the world? Is it the love that overflows from her songs even when she's singing about painful and not so pleasant things?

Asa is a gifted singer-songwriter, no doubt about that. She will be a star, no matter what, she will go far. But more importantly, she is a specially gifted human being, who has this ability to touch people in a deep and meaningful way.

Thank you Asa for such beauty.
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