Sunday, April 19, 2015

CD Review: Beautiful Nubia and The Roots Renaissance Band's 'Soundbender'

Beautiful Nubia and The Roots Renaissance Band

Beautiful Nubia is Segun Akinlolu, a Nigerian folk and roots musician that bridges together lilting reggae-like grooves with Afro-soul and Afro-pop melodies. The mix of Yoruba and English lyrics provides a truly world music result with magnificent percussion, strings, and contemporary beats throughout. There are beautiful melodies and rhythms that highlight both Beautiful Nubia's voice and the instrumental backing. Every track is diverse, but very engaging and catchy. The backup vocals are sparse, but appropriate where added. The jazzy, somewhat neo-classical strings adds a nostalgic, European musical presence, while hanging onto African roots and influences. Anyone with an interest in contemporary African grooves and roots music will love Soundbender. ~ Matthew Forss

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