Stories » Somi gets - "PopMatters Best of 2014" for: The Lagos Music Salon

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Somi gets - "PopMatters Best of 2014" for: The Lagos Music Salon

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...but that voice. No matter how many times you listen to this record and walk away, each time you come back, you're met with that reality: ...but that voice. You can quibble with Somi's The Lagos Music Salon being more of a jazz record than an R&B record, but why split hairs? When you create a set of songs this good, the act of genre classification is transcended. It doesn't really matter which box you try to pack this stuff in; all that's relevant is the pure quality, and in this case the pure quality is undeniable.

"Last Song", a surefire candidate for Most Delicate Song Of The Year, is everything a great tune should be: passionate, affecting, irresistible, poignant, and versatile. So much so that by the time the second half kicks in, you can't help but wipe away the tears that first movement brings in order to get a clear vision of the dance floor. "Ginger Me Slowly" kind of sounds like Jill Scott wrote it and then two A-list collaborators pop up to cement this record's place among the year's best as Common offers up a peaceful verse on "When Rivers Cry" and Ambrose Akinmusire, who released his own viable candidate for Album Of The Year in 2014, adds dashes of trumpet in "Brown Round Things".

Jazz. World. Rhythm and Blues. Soul. Hip-Hop. Funk. Reggae. Caribbean. The Lagos Music Salon belongs in all of those categories for a plethora of reasons, not the least of which being-you guessed it-the feather-like, angelically passionate voice that Somi is blessed with. Argue all you want about placement, but in the end it all comes back to the same three words: ...but that voice. http://images.popmatters.com/rating_circle_full.pngColin McGuire