Ayah - 4:15
- Artist: Ayah
- Album: 4:15
- Label: Da District Entertainment
- Year of Release: 2009
- ME Rating:
- Reviewed by: carlita on 2012-08-13
Taking Spotify's recommendation (because I always do what my computer tells me, kidding), I stumbled upon Middle Eastern born/Canadian transplant R&B singer, Ayah's 2009 debut, 4:15 appropriately during an insomnia-filled night around 4:15 am. It's a quiet, reflective time before the day's begun, the sun has risen, imposed emotional guards are down; the truth flows easily and just is. Ayah (whose stage name means "miracle" in Arabic) describes it as the raw time of day where there's "no makeup", she has "glasses on" and is "wearing sweats". Twenty-something self-discovery (doubt, hope, gratitude, regret) advice is in full effect on "Slow Down", "Who Are We" and "Believe" but she's not on this excursion alone. It's also as if Ayah woke her sig other/future ex up at 4:15 am and said "Yo, I got sh-t on my mind and can't sleep. Now neither will you".
Blending her Arabic influences while resurrecting the not-so-obvious underground authentic soul sounds of Rahsaan Patterson, Floetry and Angie Stone, her voice conveys an honest range of emotions like ladies Joss Stone, Marsha Ambrosius, Erykah Badu and 90's Zhané did before her. Taking a shot by approaching producer DJ Jazzy Jeff online, he responded and the rest is history, leading to him producing a track on this debut ("He Don't Want It") and a future collabo called "Back for More". Thrysite and Slakah the Beatchild also get honorable mentions for their fresh production skills on display as well. She comes for real from start to finish but especially on "Might Not Be" and Mary J. inspired "In My Lifetime", evoking the relatable empathy I had when I first heard MJB sing " if you looked in my life and see what I've seen". Did I automatically put this album on repeat? Yup and I'd def "do it all again".
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