Published Sep 04, 2015As an artist, Kuku's engagement with Yoruba and Western influences endures on new album Ballads and Blasphemy. The 11-track project represents the singer/songwriter's philosophical and spiritual musings with multilingual flair. The end result is worldly introspection: "Open Your Eyes While You Pray" delves into the ethical intersection of religion and violence, "Wáya" expounds on the state of the African family and "Is It All a Game (Séré Ni Ilé Ayé)?" ponders existence.
The call-and-response groove of "La Derniére Fois" soothes, and the Yoruba influence in "Iwà Rere," particularly, is aurally pleasing. "I'm grateful for Africa, indigenous Africa," Kuku sings on "Africa Jomi Luju," a vibe that's palpable across this album, culminating with the acoustically driven "If There Is A Heaven." Ballads and Blasphemy is equal parts ambition, thoughtfulness and poignancy. (Buda Musique)