Search The Line of Best Fit
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Poppy Ajudha’s genre fluid The Power In Us offers powerful therapy in troubled times

"The Power In Us"

Release date: 22 April 2022
Poppy Ajudha The Power In Us
19 April 2022, 17:15 Written by Simon Heavisides
We live in difficult times, of that there is no doubt. Looking for positives, this is a reminder that music matters more than ever, whether as a means of pushing for change or simply as a source of succour, empathy and compassion.

Into that world comes The Power in Us, the long awaited debut from Poppy Ajudha. Born of a ridiculously fertile South London scene where it’s second nature for artists to mix genres, it’s no surprise to find that Poppy creates an eloquent genre fluid blend of jazz, R&B, soul, rock and pop. This music may sometimes be Jazz FM friendly but it’s no clunky compromised hybrid.

The lyrical and emotional range of The Power in Us will be familiar to anyone who’s followed Ajudha’s Strong Woman podcast, it’s an album that recognises the blurring of the line between the personal and the political but successfully skates around the dual pitfalls of dour preachiness and easy platitudes that all too often claim lesser artists.

Demonstrating these qualities from the start, the spine tingling righteous fury of “Play God”, complete with guitar freak-out curveball, delivers its message concerning the ever present threat to abortion rights in the United States (and elsewhere) with a passionate clarity that leaves a lasting impact. Meanwhile “Demons” goes deep into the personal, strings soothe while backing vocals verge on gospel territory, it’s naked lyrical honesty swept up in a soul-stirring climax.

By the time previous single “London’s Burning” rolls around to once again work its sparsely melancholic magic, a lot of musical and emotional ground has been covered in a relatively brief 31 minutes. If there is a criticism it’s probably that seven actual songs is edging a little close to skimpy, however this seems to be in service to keeping the structure tight rather than an indication of a lack of killer material.

There’s an elegant gravity of thought on display throughout The Power In Us, but nevertheless it’s still an album to enjoy rather than a lecture, even the interludes add and support rather than detract and spoil the flow. Like any art that rises above ‘merely’ being technically skilled in order to speak personal truth to power, it will annoy all the right people while providing empowerment for those willing to listen; the choice is yours.

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