First Impressions: Ayo Continues To Uplift

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

It has only been a short year since Germany born artist, Ayo graced us with the quiet storm of Joyful. Now come 2008, Ayo from the once again engages with Gravity At Last. In an eclectic and lush mix of Reggae, acoustic soul, Gospel and even a slice of Blues, Ayo doesn't fall into the sophomore slump groove. In fact, she sounds much more confident on this than her debut and it shines through on the album's thirteen tracks. Take for example the the brilliant opener, "I'm Not Afraid". The track explores a jazz-fusion state of mind that's nicely mixed in with jangly guitars and staccato horns. The rousing music matches well with Ayo feather light vocals. Ayo even tackles some good old fashioned Blues with "Maybe (Ayo Blues)" and it's a stand-out cut. She continues to inject a little bit more grit and sass with songs like the infectious first single, "Run Run (Slow Slow)" and the chugging funk of "Change". Still Ayo hasn't lost her tender touch as she puts her heart on sleeve for the stirring, "Mother", a true life ode to her drug addicted mother. Ayo isn't your usual neo-soul sojourner as she only hints in the R&B direction. She mostly tackles a more traditional sound that is really elegant and recalls the days of Joan Amstrading and Roberta Flack. With a guitar and a pen in hand, Ayo uplifts your soul all on one single album.

Rating: 9.0/10
Release Date: October 14, 2008

2 comments:

  1. Now this is a great artist, the song 'Down On My Knees' is a tune! It's nice to see another artist with their own style within the industry, she consistently shows herself to be a very promising talent.

    Like I mentioned within your Janelle Monae post, we can only hope that she is not watered down to sell records. But, this is definitely an artist that is doing her own thing at the moment within the industry, it's just a shame that talent like this continues to go unnoticed.

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  2. Well put Woosh, as always :) She blew me away with the "Down On My Knees" song, I admire her way of being simplistic but still keeping you engaged...I would say she reminds me of a more stripped down Sade...but I think I might be streaching it, LOL ...I agree, I hope she doesn't sell her soul to the "auto-tune/hip-hop" money making machine...that would be talent wasted indeed!

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