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Beautiful Imperfection

AsaVinyl
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)


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MP3 Music, 14 Songs, 2011 $8.99  
Audio CD, 2011 $15.06  
Vinyl, 2011 --  

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for 4 albums, 13 photos, and 10 full streaming songs.

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Product Details

  • Vinyl (August 30, 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Alliance
  • ASIN: B004H6P2MO
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #409,985 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Why Can't We
2. Maybe
3. Be My Man
4. Preacher Man
5. Bimpe
6. The Way I Feel
Disc: 2
1. OK OK
2. Dreamer girl
3. Ore
4. Baby Gone
5. Broda Ole
6. Questions
7. Bamidele

Editorial Reviews

Review

Asa's second LP delivers intelligent, funked-up soul-pop... A voice that mixes Macy Gray huskiness with Nina Simone passion --Mojo

Powerful vocals that channel Amy Winehouse at her peak. . . Soulful lyrics that recall Bob Marley and Marvin Gaye. . . Like anything well-travelled, Beautiful Imperfection draws inspiration from everywhere --Teen Vogue, September 2011

Released in the United Kingdom last April, this Paris-born Nigerian soul singer's new album is, true to its title, a thing of beauty - a socially conscious, rhythmically sophisticated record inspired by, but not overly indebted to, torchbearers such as Bob Marley, Fela Kuti and Lauryn Hill.

'Be My Man,' the first single from 'Beautiful Imperfection,' is buoyed by a tricked-up neo-Motown arrangement akin to those heard on recent recordings by Lily Allen and Amy Winehouse. 'Why Can't We' is impelled by a hiccuping ska backbeat, but 'Broda Ole,' one of three songs sung in Yoruba, is even catchier, thanks to its galloping rhythms and unstoppable chorus. Here again, Lily Allen or Diana Ross, for that matter would be proud, or at least induced to smile.

Other tracks, such as the reggae-inflected 'Maybe,' find Asa in a more searching and global frame of mind. 'There never used to be / This much attention to security / Until the terror and catastrophe,' she sings, her languid alto and the loping rhythms that bear it along belying the anxiety conveyed in her lyrics. Elsewhere, over an ominous chorus of horns and a nagging snare drum, she laments, 'I feel like we're not angry enough / That while we wait, time's ticking away.'

Ironically enough, Asa (pronounced 'Asha') records for a label called Naive. And yet as evidenced by zingers such as 'Why is it so much religions yet there's so little love?,' there's nothing in the least bit puerile about this young woman or her irrepressible, humanity-minded pop. --Washington Post, Bill Friskics-Warren, September 5, 2011

Product Description

Nigerian songstress Asa presents her soulful and uplifting sophomore album, Beautiful Imperfection. Building upon the tremendous international success of her 2007 self-titled debut, Asa expands both her emotional and stylistic range on her follow-up.

From the opening track, 'Why Can't We,' it is apparent that Asa is exploring new territory with this collection of songs. While being anchored in the same timeless and heartfelt spirit of her debut, she has also grown as an artist and taken the next logical step in her evolution as a singer and songwriter. Asa first caught the ears of her global audience with her smoky voice and confident political messages, which were wrapped in deceptively sweet melodies and laid-back acoustic guitar strumming. On Beautiful Imperfection she has shifted her goal towards creating more joyous, uplifting music, while weaving together 60's soul, pop, reggae, rock, and more. Tracks like 'Be My Man' have a playful, up-tempo feel while others, such as closing track 'Questions,' are gorgeous, haunting ballads.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfectly beautiful! November 2, 2010
Format:Audio CD
Nigerian songstress A'a released her eponymous debut 3 years ago to high acclaim. Its melodic blend of Soul, Folk, Reggae and African rhythms and her smoky vocals endeared her to many and her sophomore "Beautiful Imperfection" is sure to win her even more fans.

This time around, she's incorporates a few retro Soul trimmings like on the opening sunny horn-peppered "Why Can't We". Next comes my favourite, "Maybe", a lilting Reggae song with deeply pensive lyrics looking at the current state of world insecurity. "There never used to be, this much attention to security, until the terror and catastrophe, now there's guns and war machines, maybe the sun will rise/maybe the stars will shine" she sings wistfully.

"Be My Man" is bouncy organ/horn-drenched retro Soul, "while Preacher Man" is a lovely slice of acoustic Soul. The Reggae-ish "Bimpé" is one of three songs done in Yoruba, the others being the woozy "Oré" and "Broda Olé" (with an almost Country bounce). "The Way I Feel" is Jazzy, the gentle "Ok Ok" has a Rock tinge, while "Dreamer Girl" wouldn't sound out of place on a Corinne Bailey Rae album. "Baby Gone" is a languid guitar ballad of loss, while the delicate piano-driven "Questions" has a mournful horn break with lightly martial beats and lyrics questioning any and everything.

Beautiful!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Luv This CD! April 29, 2011
Format:Audio CD
Been waiting for a long time for this CD. I don't know why the delay in availability in the United States. But it is a wonderful CD. There isn't a song on the entire CD that I do not like. I love it all. Looking for to Asa coming to the US in concert.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars CD was definitely worth the wait!!! December 28, 2010
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
ASA topped herself with this wonderful CD. She definitely did not disappoint as expected. I have been listening to this CD everyday since I got it and it just does not feel like I will ever get tired of it....The melody, the use of instruments, her exceptional story telling, use of both Yoruba and English to mesmerize your mind, I can't say enough about this CD. Trust me, get this CD and you will not regret it! Thanks ASA for your wonderful work.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Looking for something new? January 19, 2012
By gk1185
Format:Audio CD
If you're getting tired of listening to the same tunes on your iPod or MP3 player, add Asa to your playlist. 'Beautiful Imperfection' is such an eclectic mix of sounds.

I discovered Asa thanks to the free iTunes card offered at Starbucks, and fell in love with her sound immediately. Because I had lived in Africa, I recognized the beat of her roots, but it was incredibly refreshing that she had mixed it up with contemporary sounds as well.

I haven't found a single song on the album that I dislike (which happens rarely). Definitely one to treasure in your collection!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Album November 15, 2011
By Zaz
Format:Audio CD
This is my new favorite album! She just makes me so happy, and at the same time some of her songs (eventhough I don't understand them all since some of them are in her native tongue) are very deep! I love ASA!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So good... October 17, 2011
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Asa really nails it on this record. Her range goes hand in hand with the beautiful instrumentation. She has such a lovely voice. I hope she makes it.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Asa./Beautiful Imperfection/Naïve September 19, 2011
Format:Audio CD
I don't usually do a lot of pop reviews, but if I had to, I'm glad it was this album.
The singer is the Nigerian Asa and she has a small, delicate, intimate voice with a slight Nigerian accent, which never overstates or gets out of a very comfortable mezzoforte dynamic. The phrasing is always lilting and a tad melancholic, where she never pushes the music but sits inside and behind the groove, giving it a very relaxed feel.

Unfortunately or fortunately my real interest was more pricked by the producer/arranger, Benjamin Constant. There is some very tasty, smooth production going on here--far more than you would expect from any pop CD. First of all the panning! Lots of hard right or left acoustic guitar played African style (3 or 4 strings) while some light African percussion might sit on the opposite side, creating all this space for this intimate voice and the rest of the band. Throughout the album, players are sitting in their own `room' giving the mix an otherworldly quality, especially in the verses. The production is very layered dynamically, so there is a lot of stuff going on in the back of the mix that give the sound a bigness or thickness--but it never gets in the way because it's mixed really, really well.

Now the arrangements themselves--never overbearing---but he's bringing a wealth of knowledge and taste to the table from the Beatles to Bjork to dance hall to jazz to metal to pop, Nashville smoothness. The choruses are so tasty and thick in the arrangement and production they just totally seduce you with sonic flirtations. At the same time he still keeps it in the genre, which is no mean feat. He's also working with some very ripe studio players who play very dynamically and with lots of licks and riffs that just float by like delicious morsels.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Love the retro feel to this album June 26, 2014
Format:MP3 Music|Verified Purchase
Unique and exciting sound. Love the retro feel to this album!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great tracks!!!!!!!!!
Published 2 days ago by Ana Cecilia Escobar
4.0 out of 5 stars I like it
I will recommend this product to any one interested.
Published 11 days ago by Jean P Tiendrebeogo
5.0 out of 5 stars Exquisite voice, clear heart
Asa is an exquisite singer, with a beautiful lilting tone, much depth in her songs. Every song is different from the next. She moves in and out of genres, defining definition! Read more
Published 7 months ago by veggie mama
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect
This CD has styled in my car's player for days at a time during my long commute. It just keeps getting better!
Published 13 months ago by CDE
5.0 out of 5 stars Positive & Creative mix of modern and traditional sounds
Love it! Great mix of traditional and modern music. I gladly add this to my music collection! I Look forward to more music from this talented young lady.
Published 14 months ago by Asn
5.0 out of 5 stars Something Different
I love the mellow melody of the album and the insightful lyrics. This album is wonderful and inspiring. A must buy.
Published 15 months ago by Niambe McIntosh
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant album. Beautiful.
Delightful vocals. Great rhythms. Beautiful sounds. And beautifully crafted. My first album by Asa but definitely not my last. Highly recommended.
Published 16 months ago by Harley Pope
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply brilliant
The lead track, "Be my man", unfairly stole all of the attention away from the very sultry album. Its invites you to feel the inner emotions of this Nigerian pop and soul... Read more
Published 16 months ago by Anddy
5.0 out of 5 stars Asa
I recommend this to all African lovers, Beautiful Imperfection will take you through African culture and realities. Lovely, please take time to consider.
Published 18 months ago by Annette Matadi
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed
I was really disappointed by this second album of Asa's. Her first album was much better and sound more authentic than this one.
Published 20 months ago by Heliach
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