After waiting close to a month after pre-ordering (supplier issues apparently), I finally had the chance to listen to this long-awaited album. From the first track, you can hear a classic Nneka. This enjoyable track carries you into a uniquely styled "Sleep" featuring Ms Dynamite. You continue through to the solid album single, "Home" and get to the mellow "Restless" where Nneka showed off her beautiful voice accompanied with beautiful instrumentals. "Don't even think" features a groovy beat complimented at the end with Nneka's rapping skills. The track "J" is one of the best tracks on the album, it gets you boping your head and gradually moving your feet, you just cant help it!
The rest of the songs on the album are equally great, "God Knows Why" with Black Thought is one of the tracks that stood out to me probably because I am a huge Roots fan. Dream collaboration for me. "Still I Rise" emphasizes her heritage with poetic sounding lyrics (prayers) in Yoruba, Igbo and Hausa.
I am glad I purchased this album. Soul is Heavy probably is one of her best works, if not the best. It definitely doesn't fall short of her previous album's high standard. "Camouflage" should have K'naan on it (hint...). Now that's a mouth-watering collaboration.
Yet another fantastic album from the wonderful, soulful and underrated Nneka. I think overall this is probably her best album yet. It is a mixture of mostly soul, reggae, rap and afrobeat. Tracks I like best are 'Sleep', 'Valley','Do you love me now' and 'soul is heavy'. The production is excellent and Nneka has great backing musicians. It would have been great to have had a live version of VIP as the recorded version is not as powerful, but basically this is a brilliant album.
For an artist who has released only 3 full length CDs including this one, her discography may appear a bit confusing. Her first full length CD (preceded by a 3 track EP "The Uncomfortable Truth") is "Victim of Truth", and came out in 2005 (not 2008 as on Amazon). Her second "No Longer At Ease" came out in 2008. This one, "Soul is Heavy" is her 2012 release. This straightforward career is confused by a greatest hits CD, "Concrete Jungle", taken from her first two CDs, and presumably intended to launch her career beyond Germany to the USA, and a re-issue of her first two CDs in a boxed set along with a third CD of outtakes and live tracks etc., both the latter disk and the whole set entitled "To And Fro". All remaining items in her name are either maxi singles, or other artists with different surnames. As for quality, well, I've been listening to a lot of soul and funk lately, and this one, with a hefty dose of reggae and rap mixed in, is the cream of the crop, with her soulful, passionate voice winning every number hands down, and songwriting catchy enough to keep you coming back for more for a very long time. I don't think I will ever get tired of listening to her, long after others have gone to the back of the cupboard.
I do not think this is the best album by Nneka but it's still nice and a couple of songs are simply beautiful. I love her anyway. She's got a great voice and a fusion style. All her cds' covers are superb too.
This is my favourite Nneka album (her third) and way way better than the disappointing recent release, My Fairy Tales. Stand out tracks include Sleep, Shining Star, the phenomenal Restless, Soul Is Heavy, J and Do You Love Me Now.