Not all of Nneka's music is political by any means: her virtuoso tour of styles that flourished before she was born offers many pleasures, and a song like "Shining Star" just about channels Sly Stone. Her pure reggae songs tend to carry spiritual lyrics rather than political ones.
Nneka has been a presence in the middle rungs of the European charts for several years. She appeared at Lilith Fair in 2010 and turned up on David Letterman, but she has so far remained little known in this country. One of the many interesting questions attending her Ark show on October 24 (see Nightspots) will be to see how her music's considerable electronic component is realized in live performance.
[Originally published in October, 2012.]