Search The Line of Best Fit
Search The Line of Best Fit

Joy Oladokun’s eclectic pop reflections brim with judgement and aspiration

"In Defense of My Own Happiness (vol. 1)"

Release date: 31 July 2020
07 August 2020, 08:11 Written by Susan Hansen
Showing the way into new genre-blending territory, Joy Oladokun’s fertile, present day mix of pop, R&B and folk constitutes irresistibility and pertinence.

Following a string of accolades, the Nashville based singer songwriter has been making waves providing an honest and sincere voice to global listeners in times of uncertainty.

Using the time spent in isolation, Oladokun has revealed a striking new collection of songs. Her second album project renders positive vibes, hope and sincerity. Soothing, earthy and astute, this vibrant, but polished production represents currency and relevance. Having theorised on happiness and what it constitutes, before she knew it considerations on her own happiness began, and it made sense to consider if she thought of herself as being happy, and whether anything prevented her from experiencing it.

Take the bright, pure simplicity and upbeat rhythms of opening track “Smoke”. This is followed by the encounter between electro-pop and rockier vibes that makes “Sunday” stand out. With immense eclecticism it depicts the spirit of this record, smoothly looking to the next track. The honest, reflective mood of “Bad Blood” is a moment of sharp insight and introspection. A place where the sound of Tracy Chapman-like guitar lines, vocals and contemplative lyrics come together, “Precious like a diamond ring / I was wrapped up in you / You tore me like a paper thing / Stole my love and my youth”, the songwriter insists.

Equally impressive is a moment like “Lost”, just before the dramatic, political “Who Do I Turn To”. Written and realised in one week, it is an engaged response to the recent Black Lives Matter movement. Inspired by the police killing of George Floyd, it came out as a single, with proceeds going to Nashville Launch Pad. Despite its tranquil piano accompaniment and acute classic feel, the song is charged in message, tackling inner uncertainty, feelings of insecurity and the fear of being without support when no one is looking out for you.

Then “Mercy” featuring Tim Gent lifts the air with a display of pop sensibility and hip hop fusion. Piano and strings-led, “Breathe Again” bears a resemblance to Coldplay, contrary to the folky, more sensitive “Too High”, which starts with an intro that brings to mind The Beatles’ “Blackbird”.

The candour of this record is rare, and its captivation makes it a stand-alone moment of truth and emotion

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