Album review: Asa - Beautiful Imperfection

Bright, breezy and easy listening - with added soul and sparkle - from this polished chanteuse.

The second album from the Nigerian-raised singer-songwriter sees her African roots and political commentary muted in favour of a softer, upbeat mood.

There’s no denying Asa’s naturalistic, easy approach, and there’s little here to frighten off Middle England’s Mondeo Men - not to dismiss the undoubted soul and talent here.

The jazzy, Hammond organ and trombone-sprinkled Be My Man, the lead single, is typically sunny, espousing wondrous love against mama’s advice and despite the odd argument.

A slinky, smoky club feel enhances the sadness of The Way I Feel - another highlight which plays out with cinematic drama - and resurfaces in Or�.

Three of her songs are sung in Yoruba with a beautifully flowing lilt rather than English, while acoustic riffs and brass parps add bounce to Why Can’t We, a joyous, summery pop number.

If you liked the carefree flavour of Corinne Bailey Rae’s Put Your Records On, Asa won’t disappoint with this polished, mellow set.

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4 stars