The Lijadu Sisters – Sunshine (1978)

The Lijadu Sisters - Sunshine (1978)
Artist: The Lijadu Sisters
Album: Sunshine
Genre: Afro-beat, Reggae, Funk, Disco
Origin: Nigeria
Released: 1978
Quality: mp3, 128-320 kbps
Come And Dance
Set Me Free
Turbulent Waters


With Sunshine, the third of four classic late-’70s albums by Nigerian pop sensations the Lijadu Sisters, the rugged Afro-beat rhythms that defined their 1976 debut, Danger, took a back seat to disco grooves and keyboard-heavy pop. Also largely absent was the traditional percussion that ran rampant through their rootsy second album, Mother Africa, and the sisters’ tendency toward Yoruba lyrics was replaced with songs sung in English. Despite these changes, Sunshine is by no means a vie for crossover success as much as a continuation of the Lijadu Sisters’ open-hearted exploration of every available sonic influence. The shredding synth-guitar fuzz leads on “Promise” are far too ungrounded to pass for pop, and the bouncy disco drums of “Come and Dance” hold up strangely dissonant harmonies and interstellar keyboards, the entire thing too far out (and interesting) to ever enter mainstream consciousness. Joe Higgs/Channel One-style rocksteady reggae influences creep into both the title track and much more so the incredibly funky “Reincarnation.” While a more direct Afro-funk approach would return to their next album, Horizon Unlimited, Sunshine is by far the sisters’ spaciest and most watery material, and the atmospheric disco and reggae underpinnings help to make it some of their most exciting.
Review by Fred Thomas