A quick google search of amaarae will reveal the common consensus on her artistry is a colorful vocabulary describing the lushness of her vocals. But, the Ghanaian American soul train driver is so much more than a voice with the power to inspire illicit thoughts. A tongue twister and storyteller, amaarae proves her all roundness on her debut album this week, The Angel You Don’t Know. She wastes no time showing off her immeasurable range by jumping into a punk rock fusion on the introductory track, Dangerous on which she projects as an anime warrior, a character that colors expectations for how the rest of the album will go down and just the kind of person she is, fierce but withdrawn and mysterious in the same vein.
The previously released Fancy, with its psychedelic video, sets the perfect scene for the otherworldly universe amaarae dwells in and tries to draw her listeners in by way of a syrupy flow and atmospheric sounds. But, the real draw on the fourteen track album is its cohesiveness. From start to finish, amaarae maintains the flow created by a combination of electronic instrumentals that sets sparks flying fused with her languid articulation. The primary and eternal sound on The Angel You Don’t Know is the best of her signature sound, mesmeric with a tinge of grown and sexy.
Contrary to the perceived notion that she’s constrained to one sound and one genre, her freefall across genres on the album is a nod to her diversity. While she starts out easing her listeners into the cocoon she creates by way of her unique voice, she switches up even with her features after Trust Fund Baby, the middle ground that also serves as a bridge into this other world she dwells in.
Amaarae is armed to the teeth with admonitions for free-spirited women, badassery, provocateur, certainty, culture, and a host of other elements that ring true and long on The Angel You Don’t Know which comes down, eventually to the perfect debut for an enigmatic character like her.