Album Review: Ngaiire - '3'

27 August 2021 | 10:01 am | Guido Farnell

"A soulful collection of R&B groove and pop nuggets."

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Ngaiire’s third long player simply called is a big album that offers a soulful collection of R&B groove and pop nuggets.

Right now there is a lot of meaning to the number three for Ngaiire. Her son is three years old. It took her just on three years to put this album together with her producer and co-writer Jack Grace. Ngaiire also tells us this album is about just three things - herself, the people she loves and the country. In uncertain times she certainly has her priorities right. 

Placing her life under the microscope to find lyrical inspiration yields tunes about her dreams, hopes and passions and sees Ngaiire boldly representing everything that she is about. A touch introspective, this album grooves gently to sound of synth heavy arrangements that feel as smooth as audio silk. 

The title track opens the album with wondrous layers of golden harmony achieved by multi-tracking her vocals. It's way too short and feels like a moment in the sun before the words “when I count to three, let go” seemingly lead us to an uncertain path to some kind of freedom. 

The lead single Closer is a swooning love song that bumps to the sound of '80s styled synths. As she reflects on the pain and joy of motherhood, Him is a heartfelt almost anthemic song for her baby son. Taking a break from the synths, Akura features Ngaiire dealing gospel vibes at the piano singing for her life at the top of the mountain and searching for her salvation. 

At the centre of this album songs like Boom, Shoestring, Shiver and Takeover weaves heartfelt memories about people and places with much affection and a certain nostalgia without loosing sight of the future. 3 presents a 360° picture of Ngaiire to the soulful sound of these tunes.

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Find out more about Ngaiire here.