A REVIEW OF THE ALBUM “UDUAK DANIEL”

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Definitions for variorum: a) containing different versions by of a text by various editors, b) containing many notes and commentaries. These two definitions describe Uduak Daniel – the third album and the second studio album by Uduak Daniel, produced by her long time producer Opubo Braide. Her return to the music scene after a four-year hiatus comes in the form of a musical journey of her life, in a way anyone can identify with. She delivers a cocktail of emotions and words in her characteristic simple, soulish and strong jazzy style. This album sees Uduak travelling through more exploratory routes with contemporary gospel music in a manner never before attempted in Nigeria. It is a variorum edition of her songs in genres and versions that can suit any event – from special renditions in churches to fashion runways. The album will be released on the BraideO!’s Soundlab label, in May, 2015.

Starting with the soul-lifting and danceable “Just You,” Uduak takes you through gratitude, in “Miracle” and philosophical spheres painted in powerful imagery in “Colours,” “Love Is Not Far Away” and “Don’t Stress.” The blend of rare variations of reggae, classical and soul music makes this work. No dull moments here.

Those who are acquainted with Uduak Daniel’s music know that simple, dripping and powerfully delivered ballads are common features. The amazing twist brought about by the popular hymn, “Be Still My Soul” is likely to start you pacing around and ending with you on your knees in gratitude to God. Of course the heavily percussive African beats from the lead track, “On Top,” along with “Nkong Nkan Abasi” and “Wondaful Ting,” are sure to catapult you to the engaging realms of possibilities that only our deep, native dialects can take you. These catchy songs are delivered with edgy vocals and percussions that will make you want to break through a wall.

In comes the variorum of “Colours,” “Don’t Stress,” “On Top,” “Nkong Nkan Abasi” in the form of DJ remixes
and a jazz version. These tracks can be played anywhere one can think of. And is that not what Uduak Daniel is about? Being unashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ and taking it to the ends of the earth? Savour the moment!

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