Love Juju #1
Label: Okeh/Sony Masterworks
New African Jazz" songwriter Somi claims a bit of Nina Simone's solemnity and some of the neo-soul affectations of Lauryn Hill. But this conceptual exploration of the space between New York and Lagos is unique, not only in Somi's varied musical palette (Afrobeat horns on the Angelique Kidjo-starring "Lady Revisited"; killer bass line on the devastating "Four African Women") but in her topics of discussion. Pollution, genocide, Internet scams -- all are fair game as she rides cosmopolitan grooves, waves hello to Ankara, and requests "ginger me with pillow talk / intellect and wine.