Eloho – Arise

(Released March 15, 2014)

By Bob Marovich for The Black Gospel Blog

From Nigeria and now living in Scotland, Eloho Jocelyn Efemuai, known simply as Eloho (it means “prosperity”), is a singer, worship pastor, and presently part of the worship team at The Junction Church in Aberdeen. Her debut solo album Arise blends CCM melodies with Afropop rhythms.

The high point is its title track and single, a song that encapsulates the album’s thematic and musical expressions. “You Are (My God),” a well-executed duet with Nigerian singer-producer Akinwunmi Nathan Oluniyi Akiremi, aka FLO, is a close second because of its breezy arrangement and passionate message. It could easily be a single.

“Only You,” with its lovely harmonies, is a fine example of the album’s melodicism and “Down at Your Feet” captures the interplay between CCM sweetness and the muscular Afropop rhythm. “Great and Mighty” is power praise with a throbbing beat. Eloho’s musicians lay a muscular foundation, the bass player especially.

Nature may abhor a vacuum, but it loves a good sing-a-long, and “The Shanana Song” fills the bill on Arise. The sha-na-na chorus is antiphonal and catchy. Eloho’s distinctive patois, which reflects her African heritage, colors her singing and spoken declarations.

Rhythm and praise enthusiasts, and particularly those who enjoy the European gospel sound produced by artists such as Sam Adebanjo and DTWG, will find Arisefriendly, cheerful, and accessible.

Three of Five Stars

Picks: “Arise,” “You Are (My God).”

About Bob Marovich

Bob Marovich is a gospel music historian, author, and radio host. Founder of Journal of Gospel Music blog (formally The Black Gospel Blog) and producer of the Gospel Memories Radio Show.

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