Nadia McAnuff & The Ligerians – Shelter From The Storm

by Jun 25, 2024Artist, Reviews

Nadia Mc Anuff & The Ligerians - Shelter From The Storm

Release Info

Label
Soul Nurse Records
Format
LP / DR
Street date
June 2024
Contact
Website Record Label
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Tracklist
1. Love Divine
2. So Jah Seh
3. Freedom Of Peace
4. Know Who
5. Holy
6. Waiting Room
7. Shelter
8. Fade Away
9. Sorry
10. Yes we (feat. Ylsam)
Nadia & The Ligerians

We have recently received a new LP entitled Shelter From The Storm from Nadia McAnuff & The Ligerians, hailing from France. Nadia McAnuff comes from a musical lineage, as her father is the renowned Jamaican singer Winston McAnuff, also known as the Electric Dread. Tragically, her brother Matthew McAnuff’s promising musical career was cut short by his untimely murder in 2012. Another brother, Rashan “Black Kush” McAnuff, is a member of the band Uprising Roots. Nadia initially gained experience in the music industry as part of the Canadian pop band Agape, before transitioning to reggae music, where she excels as a Nyabinghi drum player and has already established herself with several notable releases. This debut album features skilled support from the French backing band The Ligerians. Hailing from Tours, France, The Ligerians founded the label SoulNurse Records, affiliated with their namesake studio. Over time, through numerous live performances, releases, and collaborations with various Jamaican artists, they have evolved into a proficient ensemble of musicians. The partnership showcased on this album hints at a promising future ahead.

Themes

This album’s origins trace back to the dark days of the Covid-19 pandemic. It was during this time that Nadia’s path crossed with The Ligerians, resulting in the collaborative single, Lockdown. The 10-track album offers a blunt look at the world’s struggles. The stark, almost dystopian artwork on the cover foreshadows the bleak themes explored in the songs. Nadia’s lyrics aren’t sunshine and rainbows. She confronts the human race’s mismanagement of the environment, the social injustices causing global suffering, the erosion of freedoms, and the disturbing rise of authoritarian leadership. This is not an album for those seeking comfort, but a call to action for a more just and sustainable world.

Call For Unity

The album breaks open with Love Divine, an undeniably catchy song. Propelled by a swinging, organ-infused melody, the song joyously celebrates love in all its forms, setting the perfect tone for the journey ahead. A subtle shift in mood ushers in So Jah Seh, the second single released in April. Here, Nadia’s vocals, imbued with a quiet strength, glide effortlessly over a one-drop riddim. Her message, a call for unity and cooperation in the face of oppression (Babylon and its negativity), resonates with a soulful power. Fueled by the infectious grooves of The Ligerians, Freedom of Peace unleashes a potent Afrobeat groove. A three-piece horn section injects an extra dose of funk, transforming the riddim into an irresistible invitation to get down.

Fashion Dreads

A shift in tone arrives with Know Who. Striking guitar riffs slice through the air, underscoring the song’s scathing critique of those who masquerade as Rastafari. These “fashion dreads,” mere wolves in sheep’s clothing, are exposed with a caustic wit. The rousing steppers riddim of Waiting Room serves as a powerful call to action. The singer’s message is multifaceted: we are urged not only to build bridges with others, but also to embark on a journey of self-discovery. By harnessing our inner strength, we can create positive change that ripples outward, uplifting ourselves and those around us. This compelling track is guaranteed to become a repeat favorite. Holy utilizes a slow reggae beat. While this creates a relaxed atmosphere, the song would benefit from a more propulsive reggae groove to fully capture the conviction behind the lyrics.

Surprising Turn

Yet another standout track is the magnificent Shelter. Nadia’s voice brims with emotion as she professes her love for Jah, the divine force that guides her through life’s murkiest corners and shields her from harm. The riddim pulsates with a tight cohesion, a mesmerizing blend of driving drums and keys that intertwine seamlessly with the deep basslines and searing guitar riffs. The urgent plea for peace continues with Fade Away and Sorry, two songs that stand in stark contrast to a world where violence reigns. The message is delivered with undeniable clarity, a potent call for understanding that resonates deeply. Although we wholeheartedly echo these sentiments, yearning for a more peaceful world, Fade Away could potentially connect more deeply with listeners if the arrangement leaned towards a more dynamic and powerful presentation. While the current arrangement may evoke a sense of calmness, a different approach could amplify the emotional impact of the song’s theme. The album takes a surprising turn on the closing track. Nadia joins forces with her rapper son, Ylsam, for a high-energy finale with a distinct dancehall and hip-hop influence. This shift in sound is a radical departure from the album’s established sound. While some listeners might enjoy this genre-bending collaboration, others might prefer the album’s earlier stylistic consistency.

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