Lijadu Sisters Sunshine on LP + Download Card
The third of the Lijadu Sisters' four Afrodisia albums (Sunshine, from 1978) is as different from its predecessor, the rootical Mother Africa, as that was from the funk and rock-infused Danger, which opened the series in 1976. Traditional drums and percussion, a central feature of Mother Africa, are not present, and that album's mainly Yoruba lyrics are replaced by ones in English. The songs still contain deep messages, but the wider social and political concerns of the two earlier albums give way to thoughts from nearer home, about love and family.
Biddy Wright continues to co-arrange the instrumental side of the music. He is heard on electric guitar, and more prominently, and for the first time, on synthesizer. There's a reprise, too, of the funky organ lines he contributed to Danger, on the uptempo boogie "Turbulent Waters." Rock, disco and out-and-out pop are all prominent in the arrangements and in the sisters' luminous melodies. There's a taste of reggae as well, like there was on the title track for Danger. "Reincarnation" is a sunny, upbeat song which is reminiscent of the rocksteady-to-reggae work of Jamaica's Toots & The Maytals and Jimmy Cliff. The lyric is pure Lijadu Sisters positivism, and an implicit nod to the happy home their mother created for them.
Taiwo and Kehinde also pay tribute to their mother on "Turbulent Waters," which closes the album. "Our mother had such terrible times in her life," says Kehinde. "But she was staunch. She never gave up. If you meet turbulent waters, you must be staunch like her, and not change your ultimate destination." The simple fact of the Lijadu Sisters' success as recording artists did much to encourage other young Nigerian women to become singers, and the keep on keeping on spirit of "Turbulent Waters" is among those songs which several have gone on record as saying provided them with particular inspiration.
Sunshine also includes two bittersweet love songs, the
uptempo "Promise" and slower "Set Me Free." The path to true love did
not always run smooth for Kehinde and Taiwo, and we hear all about it here. The twins' career, together with that of the Nigerian-born pop singer Patti Boulaye in Britain and Europe, spurred on a wave of female singers who emerged in the early to mid 1980s: Onyeka, Oby Onyioka, Dora Ifudu, Martha Ulaefo, Uche Ibets, Julie Pipe and Christie Essiens among them. LP includes download card.
Lijadu Sisters Sunshine Track Listing:
1. Come and Dance
3. Set Me Free
6. Turbulent Waters