On Nigerian-born and Germany-based singer, rapper and political activist Nneka’s fifth full-length album My Fairy Tales she explores the reggae genre more than ever before. Often described as a neo-soul singer in the same vein as Erykah Badu and Lauryn Hill, Nneka takes a new direction, and a great leap forward, on this brand new album.
My Fairy Tales is a genre-spanning set with nine tracks rooted in reggae, funk and R&B flavoured with electronica, UK dub and afro-beat.
Nneka has a slightly thin voice, but it has a beautiful, delicate and slightly raspy tone. And even though several of the songs come with deep and loud bass lines as well as dense arrangements, Nneka manages to come across with her singing.
My Love, My Love and Book of Job are two deep and straight-up reggae gems with thunderous bass lines, while Local Champion is urban and electronic with dubby audio effects. Pray for You is jaunty ska, yet with a radical edge, and In Me nods towards stepping UK dub.
Most of the cuts on My Fairy Tales will probably work very well on several dance floors over the world, but the upbeat Babylon, with its manic drums, is a journey into funkified territory with its militant groove.
Haven’t heard much from Nneka prior to this album, but I certainly hope she’ll continue to explore the reggae genre since this album whets the appetite.