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Review: Nakia Henry – Remember Me

25/01/2010

Nakia Henry’s Remember Me is an album I’ve been waiting to get my hands on for a while now, and it was definitely worth the wait! What first drew me to the album was the artwork above, beautifully simple yet very striking, I wasn’t even sure the music within would fall under the broad umbrella of soul; however I was intrigued enough to find out.

The album is a bit of a rollercoaster ride through the emotions, uplifting, sensual, thought provoking … exactly what soul music should be. Opening track ‘Fly Away Girl’ introduces us to Ms. Henry in full-on introspective mode, wishing she could “fly away to the land of pretty days”, and realising that the only thing that is standing in her way is herself. The deep, reflective track bounces along on a relatively simple guitar/snare rhythm which only serves to accentuate the lyrical content further.

Fly Away Girl [snippet]

The second track, ‘Lily’ tells the moving story of the title character as she struggles to accept herself and find her place amongst her peers. This oft-told tale, that of the young girl who dosn’t fit in, is elevated above the run-of-the-mill stories we have heard before by Nakia’s excellent song writing/story telling. She paints a vivid picture of Lily’s life,  detailing her experiences at the hands of other children and the hardships she faces, employing a rootsy/bluesy tone to her voice that suits the subject matter.

The sensual side of Remember Me kicks in on track 7, and holds fast for 3 consecutive songs. ‘Beautiful Music’ expertly aligns the creation of music with everyone’s favourite passtime, lyrics such as “The way he touches my body makes me tweedle-dee” leave little room for mis-interpretation. Rather than just using music as a metaphor for sex though Nakia goes further with the lyrical wordplay, suggesting that in order to really create beautiful music [stress mine] then collaboration is needed between two people who complement each other … “I hit the high notes, he goes deeper” 🙂

‘Afromantic’, probably my favourite track on the album, introduces us to a funkier Nakia whilst continuing the ‘sensual’ theme found on ‘Beautiful Music’. With the killer guitar backing and Nakia’s slightly coarse, gritty delivery you really feel every word that leaves her mouth. The track builds as the song pregresses, reaching somwhat of a climax, before being softly brought back down by a softer, gentle,  more sultry Nakia.

Afromantic [snippet]

‘I’ll Be’ rounds out the 3 song love suite, and boy does it do it in style. This is probably my second favourite track on the album and brings to mind Jill Scott’s ‘Come See Me’/’Crown Royal’ . The track opens with some moaning, groaning and heavy breathing before a single drum beat kicks in and provides a steady rythm over which Nakia sings “I’ll be your lover, I’m the only one that you need. I’ll be your bad girl, place me on your lap and spank me. I’ll be your candy, taste me, bite me, lick what you please. I’ll be your freak, tell me how you want it Daddy.” Sure the lyrics are suggestive, bordering on raunchy, however Nakia maintains a sense of class and style (similarly to the aforementioned Jill Scott tracks) which elevate this to grown folks soul rather than something for the kids to giggle over.

I’ll Be [snippet]

The final track I’ll mention here is ‘Smile’, an uplifting acapella track which sees Nakia confident that everything is going to be ok and their are happier times ahead. The track has a kind of swampy, blues vibe to it that is further stregthened by Nakia’s banjo-esque vocal backing (*you’ll understand when you have heard it*).

Smile [snippet]

Had Remember Me been in my posession last year it would have undoubtedly made my ‘Top 10’ and would have been a contender for album of the year. Nakia combines a number of styles and themes on this 15 track (16 if you count the bonus song) album, but binds them all together with the common thread of self-empowerment, optimism and faith. I highly recommend this album to anyone with a soul!

Myspace: www.myspace.com/nakiahenry

Blog: www.nakiahenry.blogspot.com/

Twitter: www.twitter.com/AfromanticNakia

CD Baby: www.cdbaby.com/cd/nakiahenry

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. 25/01/2010 1:14 pm

    Good review SoulUK.

    Will have to check on Nakia from “Fly Away Girl” to ahem, ahem cant stop coughing.. lol yet classic[i]lly weaved.

    Heard the audio snippets, a sister with quality to deep soulful unique from Nakia.

  2. 25/01/2010 3:15 pm

    Oh wow, hadn’t heard of this artist until now, so thankyou.

    She definitely sounds a very interesting artist, this is my kind of music.

Trackbacks

  1. NEW MUSIC: Nakia Henry – ‘Love Letter (He Wants Me To Win)’ « Soul:UK
  2. Afromantically Inclined « The SoulReservoir

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