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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No Longer at Ease, couldn't be a better title.
This is the CD I've played most often over the past month or so. The title comes from a T.S. Elliot poem via Nigerian writer Chinua Achebe, and I can't remember an album being better summed up by its title than this. From the claustrophobic, lo-fi production to the minor-key melodies, Nneka comes on like a Nigerian Tricky, confiding her deepest fears and anxieties in...
Published on 14 Aug 2009 by Howard Male

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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Generic
Heard 'heartbeat' on last.fm, and thought this album might be worth a punt. I know why this song was the single now - it's the standout track by far. I was hoping the Nigerian connection might make for more variety than your standard R&B album, but I was wrong.

She's got a good voice, but you can't make a good album with just a good voice.
Published 16 months ago by Andrew


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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No Longer at Ease, couldn't be a better title., 14 Aug 2009
This review is from: No Longer at Ease (Audio CD)
This is the CD I've played most often over the past month or so. The title comes from a T.S. Elliot poem via Nigerian writer Chinua Achebe, and I can't remember an album being better summed up by its title than this. From the claustrophobic, lo-fi production to the minor-key melodies, Nneka comes on like a Nigerian Tricky, confiding her deepest fears and anxieties in regard to both personal relationships and her continents woes and troubles. There's nothing easygoing going on here.
And although she sites Fela Kuti (along with Chinua Achebe) as influences there is surprisingly little influence of Afrobeat here. Instead, I can hear everything from 1970's politicised Americal soul and funk, to drum and bass, to electronica, to the art-house experiments of Bjork but with added angst ('Gypsy' and 'Halfcast') to Jamaican reggae and ragga.

But when she does reggae, such as on 'Something to Say' it's completely on her own terms. This is post industrial reggae in which the offbeat guitar chops seem to have been created from sampling some huge piece of factory equipment being dragged across a metal floor. And how many reggae tracks make such effective use of a ride cymbal?

Each track here is like a new experiment; a new Frankenstein hybrid that Nneka and her producer, DJ Farhot, have felt compelled to stitch together out of old musics and new sounds. There is no need to settle on a style and then go with it, for this woman. Her restlessness is part of the essential spirit of her edgy music.

The track 'Heartbeat' is an most unbearably intense song which seems to move from the personal to the political, suggesting Nneka is as emotionally engaged in both arenas. It brings to mind, as a few tracks here do, the cinematic sweep of Shara Nelson-era Massive Attack. Even the token song dedicated to Africa isn't totally trashed by the inevitably sentimental 'uplifting' chorus. It's a damn catchy chorus and the rest of the song sounds like Sally Nyolo at her best, so I forgive her.
But the bottom line is this is the kind of music l might of hoped they'd be making in the future, when I looked forward from some adolecent year to the notion of what music might be like in 2009: challenging, sonically perverse, unpredictable, compelling, and perhaps a little difficult to get one's head around at first. But I keep being drawn back, again and again, certain that this album can't be as good as I think it is, and becoming more convinced that perhaps it is.

16 tracks; 16 different worlds, yet somehow making a cohesive whole.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic and unique album, 13 Sep 2009
By 
Jane (Bristol UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: No Longer at Ease (Audio CD)
I absolutely love this album - I find it hard to express how good it is. Sadly and unforgivably it was hardly reviewed in the british music press when it came out a couple of weeks ago. It's frustrating that when there is so much mediocre music around, someone with such talent appears to be off the radar of most music journalists.

Nneka is an amazing talent - great songs and fantastic voice with a real depth of emotion to it that grips your heart. The songs are really varied - mix of hiphop, soul, reggae, drum and bass and more that somehow all hangs together. She defies definition but in a good way.

My favourite songs on the album at the moment are 'Heartbeat' (a single), 'Come with Me' (deceptively simple folk song), 'Halfcast' (angry hiphop) and 'Focus' (kind of rock song).

BUY THIS ALBUM IT IS AMAZING! Her first album 'Victim of Truth' is brilliant too.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Gr8 album :), 25 Aug 2011
This review is from: No Longer at Ease (Audio CD)
I really do like this album and can't believe that I only discovered Nneka by chance; I bought this and another, earlier, album of hers at the same time and I rate both, altho' imho this one edges it. The mix of Afro-Reggae-Dance styles is very good and I'm successfully converting my 'younger' friends (the 18-30 yr olds, lol) to Nneka fans! :)
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5.0 out of 5 stars Super Nneeka, 22 May 2009
By 
Revelino Mateus (Lisboa, Portugal) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: No Longer At Ease (Audio CD)
Nneka is really something else. She is good, inspirational. I'm addicted to her music and her voice. Fast, give us the third album. Keep it up girl!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing.., 26 Nov 2009
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This review is from: No Longer at Ease (Audio CD)
I love this womans voice, the whole album is so diverse. I love that her Nigerian accent is so noticeable in parts. I first heard her Heartbeat track and then found Africans, because I loved them both I decided to buy both of her CDs...I totally underestimated her talent. There is something for everyone on this album - drum & bass, reggae, uplifting, there's also a hint of hi-life in certain tracks...I love every single track on this CD.
She is so criminally overlooked on the music scene and should be so much more recognised than she is. I look forward to following her musical career in the future.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Generic, 15 Mar 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: No Longer at Ease (Audio CD)
Heard 'heartbeat' on last.fm, and thought this album might be worth a punt. I know why this song was the single now - it's the standout track by far. I was hoping the Nigerian connection might make for more variety than your standard R&B album, but I was wrong.

She's got a good voice, but you can't make a good album with just a good voice.
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