The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - Music Reviews - SIOB­HÁN LONG

ASA Naïve

Rid­ing the arc of a song, ca­ress­ing its curves with an in­stinc­tive­ness that’s all too rare th­ese days, Asa (pro­nouned “Asha”) is a next big thing who might ac­tu­ally de­serve the ac­co­lade. Com­bin­ing a Nige­rian-ac­cented rhythm’n’ blues with a strong lyri­cal sen­si­bil­ity that touches on themes rang­ing from self-im­pris­on­ment (Jailer) to the fu­til­ity of war (Fire on the Moun­tain), not to men­tion a brace of rhyth­mi­cally divine songs in Yoruba, Asa is an in­genue who opts for un­der­state­ment rather than brash en­trances, with shades of Vir­ginia Ro­drigues in her vo­cal style. Against a back­drop soaked in funky bass lines, the sub­tlest scratch pro­gram­ming and some canny string ar­range­ments that never once ven­ture into the ter­ri­tory of jaded Sade-ism, Asa’s force of per­son­al­ity makes it­self felt with re­fresh­ing, un­fet­tered con­fi­dence. Def­i­nitely a de­but to wit­ness. www.asamu­

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