96kHz/24-bit FLAC*, Universal/Mercury 3748753 (supplied by www.highresaudio.com)
Nigerian-German singer-songwriter Joy Olasunmibo Ogunmakin – stage name Ayo – has enjoyed considerable success in Europe since her 2007 debut album Joyful and its follow-up Gravity At Last, both produced by renowned American sound engineer Jay Newland. This is her fourth studio album, produced and mixed by Newland once again, containing both the original version of her 2013 single ‘Fire’ and its subsequent remix featuring Congolese-French rapper Youssoupha [see Lab Report]. As usual her songs cover a mix of styles from reggae and rap to the country-esque ‘Justice’ and the beautiful ballad ‘Fallin’’ that bears comparison with Joan Armatrading at her most heartfelt. Standout tracks such as ‘Teach Love’ and ‘Complain’ showcase the album’s superior recording quality, with the backing instruments separated across a believable soundstage. JB
Sound Quality: 80%
Hi-Fi News Lab Report
Tracks 7 (‘Who’) and 16 (‘Fire’ remix) are upsampled 44.1kHz (CD) content while the remainder are true 96kHz files. Whether the ultrasonic ‘energy’ here is music or distortion from downstream compression/limiting is uncertain. PM
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