When you hear that Asa drops an album, you go buy it, because it’s the right thing to do; no questions asked. And that’s exactly what I did. So, here’s my thought on Asa’s third studio album titled Bed of stone.
Dead Again (Produced by Blair Mackichan)
This is the first single off this album; a piano ballad with a fair dose of percussion that makes for such a good appetizer. I was immediately captivated by the creativity in the arrangement, especially the spoken word feel to the verses that made the song feel like a movie. The songwriting is top notch and relatable, and the execution is so convincing. Also the way the song plays out is, simply, magical; and I love how the production helps to amplify the fury in Asa’s words without interfering with much else. This is a great album starter for me, and ultimately, a great piece of music. I LOVE IT!
Eyo (Produced by Blair Mackichan)
Listening to this song, one can tell that coming home holds a special meaning for Asa no matter how far the music takes her. This song is apparently about Lagos and the love, joy and communal living one enjoys at home amongst family; and it’s such a beauty. This is a jam, and the laid back production, again, provides the right platform for Asa’s vocals and those amazing backing vocals to rest. And the chorus goes: Going home… where everybody cares for one another… Eyo o Eyo o Eyo o o o Eyo o where there’s something in the song, that makes you feel at home, and that’s what’s calling out my name Eyo o… A colourful, exuberant video for this song is imperative.
Satan be gone (Produced by Blair Mackichan)
This song has character and an undeniable presence. This is musical exorcism at its finest. Satan be gone is that song you want to put on repeat when you are in the car or at home with your monster in law, singing along and nodding wildly the whole time. Start your week with this song and tell me all about it later. It’s another epic work from Blair Mackichan and ASA. Trust me, you want to say Amin to this line every morning: Amo eni se eni, aimo eni se eni, Olorun ma j’ari. Watching Asa perform this song at a proper concert will be one of the highpoints of my musical journey on earth.
Bed of stone (Produced by Blair Mackichan):
This is a beautiful song that tries to paint a portrait of hardship, sacrifice, family, resilience and particularly, the uncertainty that is Life. Well written, well produced and very well delivered too. The decidedly country music vibe of the guitars just does it for me. Nice jam! Nuff said!
Moving on (Produced by ASA & Nana Tsiboe):
Really, who does a song about rape? Asa, that’s who, and it’s a masterpiece! Each time I listen to this song I can’t help thinking about a friend who once confided in me about her rape. Rape is barbaric, I know, what’s more sickening for me is that it appears to be on the rise and we can’t talk about it enough; and so, there couldn’t be a better time for this song. Asa, again, I think making a video for this song is mandatory, think of it as a social responsibility. I should also inform you that the male backing vocals on the chorus have a tendency to add a year to your life expectancy every time you listen. Touching!!!
Grateful (Produced by Blair Mackichan):
Asa is a firm believer in God and for me, it’s very reassuring to know in these peculiar times. On this song Asa is simply saying that it’s never too late nor too early to praise God for His goodness. My best part of the song is when the beat changes 30seconds to the end; but just when I’m getting my worship on, the music stops! Asa, that portion is too short! The song is just divine.
Society (Produced by Blair Mackichan):
The strings in the intro of this song are to die for. On this track Asa talks about the perennial dishonesty, avarice, and insincerity of the average politician, and she only does it so well. I love this jam! Plus Asa’s pidgin English sounds so good. Na jam!
How did love find me (Produced by Blair Mackichan):
How did love find me is a glorious ballad in every sense. The production, songwriting, singing and arrangement are altogether flawless and decidedly international. The opening keys at the start of this song can definitely open doors. Mackichan, once more, lavished his creative touch on the production. This is music, pure and simple.
Ife (Produced by Blair Mackichan):
This is my very best song off this album. Ife is a song about when your love life seems to be getting too much attention and press, if you know what I mean. Asa’s combination of English verses and a yoruba chorus on this song is the dream team. The refreshing energy in the chorus takes me to Mars and back. Asa makes music look too easy, but I’m not fooled. This is genius plus hardwork. If Beyonce could understand a word of yoruba, this would be her favourite too, I’m sure.
Situation (Produced by Blair Mackichan):
Awesome songwriting on the verses, but I expected more from the chorus, it appeared a little disconnected from the verses. However, situation remains a very good piece of music.
New year (Produced by Blair Mackichan):
This is a major record on this album, the arrangement of the music is unimpeachable. Asa says no amount of rule books in the world can ever know to teach you how to be yourself, and I couldn’t agree more. Hallelujah it’s a new year, you’ve got to know when it’s over, it’s over; talk about message. Excellent stuff.
The one that never comes (Produced by Blair Mackichan):
Something in this song reminds me of Bob Dylan’s 1973 hit record, knockin’ on heaven’s door. Of course I still have room for another ballad. This is a well written song about that moment of illumination when you realize the brother or sister whom you willfully locked away in friend zone jail is the ONE, after you waited endlessly for the elusive “one” that never comes. Moral of the story: review your friend zone register often, to avoid stories that touch. Brilliant song!
Sometimes I wonder (Produced by Blair Mackichan):
Good song. Nuff said.
Shine your light (Produced by Blair Mackichan):
Inspirational music. The songwriting is exemplary. The message is valid. Good job.
The Mob’s Take:
Bed of stone is a rich body of work to begin with, and one can tell Asa is quite committed to preserving and enhancing the core of her sound; and the result was brilliant. I also like how Asa touched on a number of salient issues and topics, and still stayed very Nigerian at the same time. The project sounds and feels like a well thought out album, although the energy seemed to dip a little towards the end. With Bed of stone I believe Asa has displayed the desired creative leap I expected of her at this point in her musical voyage. Special praise also has to go to Brian Mackichan whom I think was an inspired choice for producer of this album. Obviously a master of his craft, Brian showed a very good understanding of Asa and her style of music and they made good world class music together. I heard effort, musical depth, and a passion for excellence on this album. More so, the album fosters music appreciation and musicianship, in that it is mostly organic music. This album is a must have, period.
Take my word for it. Cop this album here.