Nneka – Concrete Jungle
3 stars out of 5
Nneka, a Nigerian-German born singer whose first US project hit the states last week, proves that she is very comfortable with “the uncomfortable truth.” Dogmatic, pragmatic, didactic, but never offensive, Nneka infuses every groove and lyric with biblical metaphors, tales of unsolved social issues and moral consciousness. And she does it well, taking you on a journey through different styles from Rap to rock to Afrobeat; visiting Reggae; and then taking a break for an acoustic set. At times I thought I was listening to post-miseducated Lauryn Hill, Floetry, or even the quiet-as-a-mouse Corinne Bailey Rae. In other words, there’s going to be something on this album that you like.
Stand out tracks include the Bob Marley-esque “Africans”; poetic track “Focus”; and the live version of “Suffri”, where the band slows up the tempo and gets funky on the hook.
Apparently she’s been hooking up with a lot of hip-hop/soul artist here in the states, so hopefully we’ll be hearing a lot more from her. Check out her performance of the above song “Heartbeat” on Dave Letterman after the jump, and you can hear more of her music at Myspace if you are on the fence…