Sunday, August 10, 2008

Reviewed: Ayo 'Joyful'

Ayo's Joyful album is an experience that begins with a striking pink silhouetted disc opened by 'Down on my knees', a song many have enjoyed by the time of this review. Ayo's voice pulls with an urgency on 'Down on my knees', which follows the theme of lover refusing to be cast aside for a shiny new toy. With a simple island flow, the song just a hare away from being a gritty acoustic kind of blues, tugs at the heart with a reminder of humanity, need perception, and the haunting inevitability of surrender that the heart must make when the ego lets goes after its last roar.

The next song follows with a similar midtempo acoustic island vibe and subtlety, making a grab for the emotional realm of the listener from a new dimension of gratitude in 'Without You', which heralds appreciation,and leaves the heart aglow.

'Letter by Letter' reveals Ayo's journey on Joyful as one that walks the interior of the heart, knocking at the door to the hearts of others. She reveals the insightful turn of her mind in simple but bold declarations (where just a hint of unspoken anger seems to brood beneath the surface), that read lyrically like conversations would between intimate ties.

'And it's supposed to be love' comes through with a sultry bossa nova tempo, where Ayo injects a mood meant to carry the disturbing weight of an imbalanced suggestively abusive romance with an innocent baby girl jazz voice that laments with an almost blank but fitting expression and flair that does not disappoint for the remake of the Abbey Lincoln excursion. The song reveals the very understated but no less powerful and clever mind that remains in control beneath Ayo's gorgeous form. Ayo is a watcher... One of those quiet listeners who watches, sometimes reacts too slowly, and later broods a bit over what she could have done when... before soberly resolving to learn and continue moving along the path.

She would do well to consider flexing her vocals over more sleek jazz tracks in the future. 'And it's supposed to be love' gives the album the seasoning it needs. My spidey senses say she would do a serious service to the jazz genre.

Another song that lifts the album up is 'Help is coming', an incredible feel good song that couldn't be more timely. It manages to inspire without handling the matter of hope too heavy handedly. The force of the hook, though very melodic, bangs and inspires swaying and chair dancing for the timid.

Closing the Cd out, Ayo registers gratitude on the song 'Neva Been' where she glows with praise for a depth of love and joy that is surely the catalyst for titling of the album that found its way in the end to a bright destination.

All an all, the journey Ayo hosts for us on 'Joyful', is an investigation into the inner workings of love, the quiet desire to control it, and the wisdom that surrender is inevitable. It is mostly a mild rhythmic album for those moments where we retreat to a contemplative zone just warm enough to soothe the soul, and deep enough to make us think about our true motivations.

The gentle rocking of island rhythms supporting the sweet voice of an artist who has the potential to find something very special, powerful and even genius deeper within, is pleasant and leaves you hoping Ayo will continue to excavate the memories that will reveal the superpower who stood by silently through it all, hoping one day to be set free to dally amongst the wildflowers like the natural force that it is once reawakened and fully bloomed.

Joyful's Most Magnificent Tracks:

Down on my knees
And it's supposed to be love
Help is coming

Grazi to Robert
for the heads up.


Anonymous said...

Wow, this is a seriously happy place -- that is the only way I can describe it. Comes across so clearly. Do you do yoga?

And, this is the very first place having products to go buy that actually make me want to try them. Seriously, pretty amazing attitude.

Anyway, would you mind if I put a link to you in my blogroll? I could use a reminder that such a happy person exists. Every deliriously happy person I know is insane, lol. It also presents POC as *normal* people interested in normal things, if that makes any sense -- instead of taking the "special section way over there in the corner" approach. Anyway, I love it and hope that last sentence wasn't hopelessly offensive. Go you!!

Oh you heard the new Volkswagon coming out in a year or two will get 283 miles to the gallon? It's tiny, though. Or have you checked your local community college or trade schools? They are always looking for projects as teaching tools and the cost isn't so much.

m Andrea

PurpleZoe said...

Peace Feminazi ^_^

Many thanks for your message. It's a relief to know the good vibes come through, and I'm very happy to know the products I share are interesting to those who pass through.
There's alot of fly material out there that doesn't get press. It's one of the reasons UU came to be.
I would love to be added to your blogroll, and will also lovelink your witty, and well-written blog. I got a chance to do some reading over there *_^

I don't do yoga, but I'm all about meditation,good vibes, and Reiki balancing. Some might question my sanity *_^ I'm a big believer in creating one's own dimension rather than being a slave to another's.

Thanks for the word on the new VW and local colleges. I wasn't aware but will have to look into it. I'd love to get away from oil usage altogether.

Have a splendorous beginning to your week, Femi. It's a pleasure making your acquaintance.