Nigerian singer Asa releases her second album 'Beautiful Imperfection' on Naïve. Born in Paris and having crafted herself there, her influences of great artists such as Bob Marley, Marvin Gaye, Erykah Badu, D'Angelo, Raphael Saadiq and Lauryn Hill, illustrate Asa coming from a song writer's perspective, whose focus on melody and guitar, expresses her individuality as a singer/songwriter in a pop soul way.
I first discovered Asa listening to her first album 'Asha' and really enjoyed 'Fire On The Mountain'. It reminded me of that rebel spirit of Bob Marley and natural influence of Fela Kuti that must have been close to Asa mostly growing up in Lagos, Nigeria. I certainly liked her unique expression and heartfelt emotion. On 'Beautiful Imperfection' I didn't quite get the same elements of 'fire' that I heard on the 'Asha' and feel Asa has moved more towards pop than funk. It creates sounds that remind me of Finley Quaye and Corrine Bailey Rae. Colourfully created songs like 'Bimpé' and 'May Be' create a charm that gives a positive experience to this album and I'm really pleased that 'Ore' and 'Brodaole' feature on album two that bring a uniqueness and individuality expressed in an African way.
It seems that Asa has gone for commercial success on her second album that certainly has crossover appeal; however it may alienate original listeners looking for something different. 'Beautiful Imperfection' isn't a bad album and Asa continues to write worthy songs, it's just the album as a whole for me, sounds possibly more average than it could of done, especially if you consider the highs on here. It seems a shame if the potential of a better second album could have been the case as some of the tracks dilute a lot of her individuality and suppresses the fire that I was looking forward to hearing on this record. I hope Asa hits it perfect on album three as she is certainly a credible artist with the potential for great work, otherwise she may fall into the background of a truly competitive industry.