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Joyful Enhanced

4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Jan. 30 2007)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Enhanced
  • Label: Universal Music Canada
  • ASIN: B000I2KR6M
  • Other Editions: Audio CD
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #24,303 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. Down on My Knees
2. Without You
3. Letter by Letter
4. How Many Times?
5. And It's Supposed to Be Love
6. Watching You
7. Only You
8. Help Is Coming
9. These Days
10. Life Is Real
11. What Is Love?
12. Neva Been

Product Description

Product Description

Debut album from the German-born vocalist. Ayo's father was Nigerian and her mother was a gipsy. This album, recorded in just five days, features tracks that are both a tribute to her mixed upbringing but also a look at her life, most of which she has spent moving from country to country. Produced by Jay Newland, Joyful features exceptional musicians who effortlessly translate Ayo's musical ideas to flawless performances. Influenced by '60s Pop and R&B as well as Reggae and world music, Ayo brings passion and authority to the bittersweet songs on Joyful. 12 tracks including 'Down On My Knees', 'How Many Times' and 'Without You'. Universal. 2007.


Ayo (her name means "joy" in Nigerian Yoruba) has been on a careening music biz fast track ever since 2006, when her debut release, Joyful, achieved platinum sales in France and several other European countries. The lovely singer-composer-guitarist-pianist was born in Germany to a Nigerian father and a Romanian Roma (Gypsy) mother and, with her husband and son, now divides her time between Paris and New York. Joyful was produced by Grammy award-winner Jay Newland and recorded in New York City in five days flat, under studio-live conditions. This created a relaxed yet urgently charged ambience that underpins the ebb and flow of all 12 tracks. Musically, the tunes incorporate diverse quotes from a polyglot life, such as accordion-laced French bal musette, slouchy Afro-Euro reggae, quietly down-and-dirty R & B-influenced organ riffs, Beatles-eque piano chords, plus subtle strings and over all, a moodily suave acoustic guitar. Ayo's girlishly light but spot-on vocals are sung primarily in English with occasional touches of Nigerian pigeon. She speaks of sexual passion hopeless and fulfilled, family, friendships, and philosophical observations both grim and optimistic; these are young songs from an old soul. The massive success of the present album has led to a television special, Ayo Live in Monte Carlo, which will be aired in the USA on PBS. During it, the young chanteuse performs tunes from Joyful and hobnobs with Princess Stephanie of Monaco, with whom she shares a commitment to children's causes. --Christina Roden

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Her name means Joy in Yoruba, and therefore it seems apt that Ayo's debut album is a joy to listen to. Her music has cross-cultural appeal, possibly due to the melting-pot of influences in her background. The German singer has a Nigerian father and a Romanian Gypsy mother, giving her the stunning looks which match her voice.
She ended up in foster homes when her parents divorced; once she was even kidnapped by her father.
Which is perhaps why her music is so calm and smooth - after that kind of upbringing you're unlikely to want to rock hard.
This album was recorded in New York and produced by Jay Newland (who produced Norah Jones), and it tells stories of gypsy life and heart break.
After gaining huge success in France and having already won over the hearts and charts of Europe (Top Twenty in Germany; Platinum in France, big sales in U.K.) Ayo is now set to take over the US and Canada.
Her roots define her and threads of soul, folk, afro beat and reggae weave through her songs.It is no wonder she calls herself an African Gypsy.
Ayo is an artist with a magnetic character and a stunning vocal, which has echoes of both Lauryn Hill and Tracy Chapman in it.
She's been compared also to Sade and Corinne Bailey Rae, although she probably needs to find a few more tunes and hooks to rise above the creamy surface. Still, there's enough here (including the delicate power of her voice) to suggest Ayo could be that rare thing - a German R&B star.
Musically she covers everything from African folk, reggae and of course oodles of soul.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0xa5d79258) out of 5 stars 39 reviews
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xb67d34a4) out of 5 stars Honey moon song :-) Aug. 6 2006
By Ana - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This is my first review on Amazon.com :-) I have heard song "Down on my knees" on my honey moon in France and it just won't get out of my head. When we got home, I got on Internet and started to search wondering who is this artist... After few mouse clicks, I discovered "Ayo - Joyful"! Great music, great rhythm, great voice! And just few minutes ago, I got her whole album and am still repeating this song, although I liked the others too (after one listening). This will be in my player for days, I'm sure :-)
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa77fe3e4) out of 5 stars Wonderful Nov. 27 2007
By D. Rogo - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This is what I call music. I love how the album is a mix of reggae and neo-soul and folk. My favourite tracks are "Down On My Knees", "Without You", "Help is coming" and "Letter by Letter" but the whole album is well-done and emotional. I highly recommend it to all music lovers!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
By Geminigirl - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Ayo is definitely a unique new voice on the music landscape. Her lyrics are autobiographical & heartfelt which meshes well with the relaxed/chill vibe of the whole album. This album successfully features elements of reggae, samba & neo-soul.

I can't compare her vocally to any other singers because she had a unique style but if you're an ecclectic listener who has given artists like Rhian Benson, Lamya, Aya or Corrine Bailey Rae a chance then you'd definitely enjoy hearing Ayo.

I'm sure that as I listen to this album over time, my list of favorite tracks will grow but right now the ones that stand out to me are:

WITHOUT YOU - an open letter to her father, it's beautifully spare

AND IT'S SUPPOSED TO BE LOVE - nice cover with sambaesque elements

LIFE IS REAL - beautiful lyrics & one of the few uptempo arrangements

NEVA BEEN - beautiful love song
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa5f4f69c) out of 5 stars Wonderful CD! Jan. 8 2008
By B. Mitchell - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
OK, if you want to hear some great music with exceptional lyrics, you need to get your ears on this CD. The production and sound quality are excellent. Ayo reminds me of Sade in that her singing (at least in the English language) is not at the level of a Whitney Houston, but there's something unique and sensual about her voice that makes you keep listening. I also like the fact that she tells stories in her songs. Well done!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa5f4f558) out of 5 stars Ayo is Joy! July 31 2008
By Aurora - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
As Sade is oceanic and earthy, Ayo is air. Her style, like her biracial elder, is sensuous and musically grounded, sweet and a bit melancholy. This album is lovely for twilight listening. In a world run over with soul wannabes, Ayo joins the ranks of those few authentic singer/songwriter/musicians who put truth, heart and beauty into their music. Give yourself a gift and buy this album!