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Beautiful Imperfection CD

15 customer reviews

Price: £11.60 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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Amazon's Asa Store

Music

Image of album by Asa

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Biography

With new found confidence, this is how singer, songwriter and musician Asa describes her new album, Beautiful Imperfection, set for release on October 25 through naïve record label.

Following on from her self-titled debut album, released worldwide in 2007, the Nigerian songstress Asa personifies evolution with her sophomore effort. “The first album reflected my state of mind ... Read more in Amazon's Asa Store

Visit Amazon's Asa Store
for 4 albums, 13 photos, discussions, and more.

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Product details

  • Audio CD (4 April 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Dramatico
  • ASIN: B004M8RYPK
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 87,350 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)


Product Description

CD Description

Beautiful Imperfection is, quite simply, a beautiful record. First single "Be My Man", is a fine slice of irresistible soul-snapping retro groove that recalls Osibisa and a rock tinge inspired by The Clash, all marshalled by an astonishingly self-assured vocal turn. Born in Paris, Asa returned to her family’s home in Lagos, Nigeria at the age of two. As the only girl in a family of four, living in an African city that was both vibrant and turbulent, young Asa often sought solace in her thoughts. Music was a prominent aspect of her childhood life with Michael Jackson, Bob Marley, Lauryn Hill, Fela Kuti and the music of her homeland all playing a part in shaping Asa’s inimitable sound. With a vivid imagination and dreams of musical stardom, she would often take to an imaginary stage with her imaginary microphone and perform to her imaginary audience. Hence the new track "Dreamer Girl". “When you catch yourself dreaming, you can sometimes sense that people nearby could hear you, and suddenly, you might feel like it’s a crime. But I’m actually the dreamer girl in that song,” Asa laughs.

Full of ambition and tenacity, Asa signed herself up to a music school when she was 18, learned to play the guitar and shaped her sound: songs delivered in both English and Yoruba, with a winning fusion of contemporary soul, pop, reggae and funk, complete with strong vocals and soul-stirring melodies.

BBC Review

Some albums bark; some whinny. Some bray and some howl. This album purrs. There may be lyrical turmoil in places, there may be dark clouds overhead; but sonically this is a cat in your lap, on a comfy sofa, on a quiet weekend afternoon. All Asa demands is that you give in to her sensual massage while she talks about what’s going on in her mind.

And it’s a very sumptuous back-rub indeed: glockenspiels twinkle, organs stretch out and yawn on a carpet of deep-pile bass. Over in the corner, beach-buskers scrub guitars and ukuleles and Asa swans guilelessly about, singing pretty, sunny songs in a soft, carefree burble.

Carefree, that is, until you listen to what she is saying, which is effectively: "wouldn’t it be nice if everything was better?"

Lead single Be My Man, an urgent, chuntery soul strut, is effectively a desperate plea for love, for someone to hang around and finish the thing they started. Oh sure, it sounds like happy on toast; but unless that special someone capitulates to Asa’s demands, it’s going to be a serving for one.

Her political thoughts are similarly idealistic, always couched in a kind of simplistic, head-scratching naivety which does nothing more than openly wonder why things are bad – as she does on Questions – and if maybe the people who made it bad could, y’know, stop. "This world is full of pain / Can someone tell me who’s to blame?" is a thought so woolly and unformed that even Sting might consider a revision or two before committing it to tape.

For non-Yorùbá-speakers who are bothered by this kind of thing, the three songs recorded in Asa’s native West African tongue provide some relief. Bimpé is perky and rocky; Oré is a rubbery blues number, given pretty stadium atmospherics; and Broda Olé is a country-tinged boot-scooter. All three showcase the voice and the music free (to these ears at least) of lyrical baggage, and are all the better for it.

So yes, it’s imperfect, and it’s frequently beautiful, much like the world itself, yeah? Do you see? Oh, too relaxed to care? Righto.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Crystal Clear on 17 July 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I bought this album after hearing the opening track on the radio - and just loved it, so (unusually for me) took a chance and bought the CD, and it has been (for me) one of the CD's of 2010/2011 - it is just one beautiful listen - Happy, Sad, Introvert, extrovert, and so damn catchy...you find yourself singing the songs as you're wandering around the supermarket or in the bath or...where ever you find yourself...the whole album just has such a gorgeous 'Feel' to it...production is pared down, basic but cool and crystal clear - in this instance less is definitely more - so much more....if any of you can remember Linda Lewis (Lark, In Deep etc) then Asa voice reminds me of that, but with more 'soul'...Highly Recommended !
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Dr.D.Treharne VINE VOICE on 28 Feb. 2011
Format: Audio CD
The voice of Asa is only one third of the reason why this album will be lauded when it's English release rolls around, months after it's been generally available in Europe. A second reason is the wonderful production by Benjamin Constant who produced it, and avoided the temptation that many would have fallen into of over complicating what is in the mix. 'Sparse' is an over used word, but this exemplifies what sparse production ought to do, which is to concentrate on the performance at the heart of the songs.When extra sounds are required they are added sparingly, listen to the trombone on "Why can't we" or the strings on "Baby gone".It also helps that guitarist Roman Chelminski is imbued with the same sparing qualities, seldom pushing the vocals out of the spotlight. Asa herself brings something different to every track as well, and the album has several songs in her native tongue, my favourite of which is "Bimpe".She's going to have to get used to attempts to compare her to other 'jazz singers', but this album has qualities that mark her out as no mere copyist of anyone elses style. If you haven't heard the album, you're in for a real treat, and it's even worth treating yourself to it ahead of its release.
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Format: Audio CD
Born in Paris to Nigerian parents, there are a range of flavours Bukola Elemide could have brought to the musical table. But perhaps weighing up airplay potential, the singer-songwriter known as Așa has chosen to stick firmly in the soul-pop brackets for her second album. The exoticism of Lagos, where she cut her teeth as a performer, crops up merely in the odd off-kilter lyric or instrumental flourish.
Instead breezy pop and lazy grooves dominate, the tunes nodding along to acoustic guitar upstrokes and bouncy bass lines that sound like they were dashed up around a beach campfire. Elemide's vocal delivery is spot on, equal parts soul and drawl; balancing technique with a witty, conversational familiarity, while her sketched-on-a-bus lyrics teeter dangerously between whimsy and banality. Perhaps tellingly, it is three tunes sung in native Yoruba that emote most.
The album doesn't overflow with either beauty or imperfection, but it's hardly a Trading Standards matter. Thanks to killer arrangements and nifty timing, Be My Man, Bimpé and Broda Olé are likely to be troubling the summer download charts soon.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mary on 31 Aug. 2011
Format: Audio CD
I heard this album for the first time in my sister's car when I went to Nigeria, I just loved it! we played it over and over again how refreshing it is to listen to some unique music from Nigeria. I have bought the CD and will certainly get her other album too. I just love Asa's voice. It's about time we listen to some serious melodious music. its great!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By M66 on 29 April 2011
Format: Audio CD
dont understand the 2 star review in Q. Asa has a great voice, singing really catchy tunes that burrow their way through your head. Superb album, definitely should be a 4 star review, I hope she makes it big time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Addee on 3 Oct. 2011
Format: Audio CD
This is one Album I can listen to ALL DAY without getting bored! Asa has such unique output that its difficult to compare her to any other. It is just as good as her previous album, Asha.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Clementine on 26 Mar. 2011
Format: Audio CD
What an amazing artist Asa is! This is the third album I buy and I am still amazed at how talented this unassuming young lady is. Love the voice, love the atmosphere(s) -even when sometimes I can't understand the lyrics-, love the "fusion" music, nobody likes that word "fusion" anymore but this is "fusion" at its best, a wonderful cocktail. Last time I was as excited with an album was with Amy Winehouse - still hope she pulls through some time - this is not the same but this also shouts talent, talent, talent! In other words, listen to the extracts on Amazon to make sure this can link up with your own little world and buy, buy, buy, you won't regret it!
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By Tracey on 24 May 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I loved the first album instantly, this one is growing on me,the more I play it, Asa voice as beautiful as always, just not as funky as the first album, a little more layed back.
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