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Adi Oasis rectifies musics current lack of retro originality on Lotus Glow

"Lotus Glow"

Release date: 03 March 2023
Adi Oasis - Lotus Glow cover
04 March 2023, 00:00 Written by Connor Shelton

Flirting with nostalgia has always been a tricky game in the realm of music.

Artists like Greta Van Fleet and Maneskin have made a name for themselves by embracing the sleazy vein of hard rock that powered the ‘70s. Yet they have offered little in the way of originality (hence the reason they’ve received such harsh pushback).

On first listen, the new album from Adi Oasis (FKA Adeline) suggests a similar rehash of nostalgia. The LP is a tour de force of Philadelphia Soul and retrograde R&B, a shift away from the more modern pop-R&B style of 2018’s Adeline. In theory, the move should draw the ire of Twitter snobs, yet repeated listens reveal how the singer subtly weaves modern songwriting techniques into Lotus Glow’s sonic tapestry. More importantly, it becomes apparent that Oasis possesses something that her white male peers lack; substance. Her songs aren’t just empty calorie bops for white bread America, they explore the reality that comes with being a woman of colour in the United States. Take “Dumpalltheguns.” Amidst the funky guitar vamps and Latin percussion, the singer lays bare the anger and desperation that comes with living in a country where guns are more valued than human life. It’s a sentiment heard from many performers, but Oasis brings something new by using a retro background to subtly articulate how old the problem is.

While “Dumpalltheguns” is an overtly political number whose message is impossible to ignore, most of the other cuts on Lotus Glow aren’t as explicit. The luscious musical backdrop of “Get It Got It” and “Adonis” can sometimes mask the nuanced ideas being expressed, but that doesn’t make the tracks any less potent. They expertly present Oasis’s skills as a singer-songwriter and instrumentalist, allowing the musician to let loose on the bass without distracting from the composition and implicitly invoking the idea of Black female empowerment. When coupled with the singer’s charisma, it’s evident that Lotus Glow really is the mark of an artist in bloom.

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