The theme of personal and communal redemption dominates this new album by Nigeria’s foremost contemporary folk and roots musician, Beautiful Nubia. Backed by the usual gang, the Roots Renaissance Band, BN dispenses ancient wisdom on a warm plate of traditional rhythms performed with a variety of instruments including the modern - guitars, keyboards and horns, as well as the ageless – gangan, shekere and igba (palmwine gourd).
On display is BN’s ability to effortlessly fuse entertaining music and strong social messaging as we find in the dance-oriented “Nightime in Africa”, “Omo Agba” and “EniObanke Gangan”. “iMoremi” celebrates the selfless sacrifice of Yoruba matriarch and heroine, Moremi, who gave her only child as a sacrifice to save her people, while “Oriojori/Eternal Spirits” is an affirmation of the artist’s commitment to his art and refusal to be corrupted. “Ifesowapo and “Araromi” both have that smooth highlifey feel which tends to take one’s attention from the deep messages embedded in the lyrics. “The Happiness River”, “Masters of the Earth”, “Farabale” and “Road to Redemption” are self-explanatory attempts at inspiring, emboldening and encouraging the listener to grow in illumination and take a step towards personal rebirth. “We Live Here Too” outlines a prophetic vision, and it will come to pass.
In many quarters in Nigeria and abroad, Beautiful Nubia is regarded not only as an outstanding musician but a prophet, a custodian of traditional values, a philosopher and a leader of thought. This new album further solidifies that reputation and is a good introduction to anyone new to this multifaceted artist’s work.
More on Beautiful Nubia at www.beautifulnubia.com