“Dead Again” is a fresh single from Asa, off her third Album “Bed of Stone”
scheduled for a September release. The song opens with spoken words on keyboard notes in the background. Into the first minute, drums start to play, fusing with the rhythm of her singing and creating the awesomeness that is what we experience through this piece of music. Her voice is a combination of melancholy and eagerness; there’s the urge to spit venom, an estranged lover, the lyrics are suggestive of heartbreak and betrayal and a general ‘love-sickness’ catharsis.
Asa creates a superb narrative that corroborates the aforementioned. I do not know any of the characters in this sour love tale, but I imaged the lady’s anguish which was obvious all through as in these lines:
“you really are a fool, sentimental fool, you picked up the knife and then you cut me…so it was you, it was really you, you picked up the knife and then you cut me in… you stabbed me in the back and then you twisted it in… you left me for dead again.”
A class act through and through, her presence is heavy on the song but there are lapses therein as well. First, there’s a risky overdose of ‘cosmopolitanness’, which does her not much good right there with the indigenous consumers. She fails to plug the gap between her foreign listeners and the ordinary Nigerian audiences, so that what we have on Dead Again is one-sided, and pro-Europe at best. Again, her singing fails to hit a proper crescendo in between lines, perhaps this weakness in her voice could have been concealed if she rendered with the fanciful local dialect; as in Awe, Bibanke and Eye Adaba. Awe is particularly note-worthy, maybe one of her best materials yet. Cruising off that course that marries her indigenous voice with percussions and local drums and whatchamacallit could be too much of a gamble, because Asa isn’t the best voice around and we must admit. But hey, she can afford big gambles, afterall she’s Asa.
Dead Again is a great effort, nonetheless. The song is mid tempo, although gaining vibe inside the 60th second or so. And though it is no party material a la Niniola’s “Ibadi” or Nikki Laoye’s “Your Number” or Yemi’s “Johnny”, it stays true in its own right. It has the potentials to stay on your playlist for a while till it starts to grow on you.
Asa is sorta like the government on this one, with the song playing the role of Withholding Tax. This means that you end up paying what is due (which is some proper attention), however hard you try not to. Simply put, there is almost no incidence of Tax Evasion on this one.
For many a critic who thought of her as done and dusted, this comeback gives the lie to these rife speculations.
By Henry Igwe