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Gravity At Last

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Album Review

Though she comes from Nigerian and German roots, songbird Ayo records her albums in English. On her second album, she continues something of an eclectic approach to songwriting, layering vulnerability and strength upon one another in her vocals and following a relatively bare compositional structure. Combined with a short, almost-live recording process, the sound is at least somewhat spontaneous, seeming to have moments of improvisation mixed into the finished result. When she's on, as in the exquisite "Maybe (Ayo Blues)," she has a Tracy Chapman quality to her sound, carrying an excellent blues feel and a bare voice that runs over with emotion, and that trademark mix of vulnerability and strength. When she's less on point, as in the reggae-infused "Get Out of My Way," or the pitchy "Better Days," the show is a little less enticing. It's a little hit and miss, but Ayo's got a lot of spunk in her sound and a lot of embers burning quietly away. As a sophomore effort, Gravity at Last puts on a good show and points to even better things as she develops further.


Born: 14 September 1980 in Cologne, Germany

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Folk-soul chanteuse Ayọ emerged as one of Europe's biggest new pop stars of 2006 with her breakthrough debut LP, Joyful. Born to a Nigerian father and gypsy mother in Cologne, West Germany, on September 14, 1980, as a child Ayọ absorbed the musical traditions of her parentage as well as influences including American soul, reggae, and Afrobeat, all staples of her father's extensive record collection. Ayọ first studied violin before moving to piano and guitar. At 21 she relocated to London, later dividing...
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Gravity At Last, Ayo
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