In our time of great division, Odie makes music for everyone | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

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In our time of great division, Odie makes music for everyone

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Canadian-born pop artist Odie embraces his Nigerian heritage, and talks a lot about growing up with the sounds of African gospel and Fela Kuti. His family history pumps blood into the heart of his debut album, April’s Analogue (Unite Recordings/Empire), which transposes Afrobeat rhythms onto mopey pop instrumentals that feel ready made for Top 40 radio. The 21-year-old frequently cites Kid Cudi and Coldplay as his influences; he has a deep understanding of how their milquetoast material can harbor big emotions for large masses of listeners who at a person-to-person level may not share the same interests in emerging artists. At a time when algorithms are programmed to build out playlists that approximate an individual’s taste and many music listeners choose to wall themselves off from experiencing new-to-them music that might challenge their expectations for what sounds can do, Odie’s Analogue finds a way to unite a balkanized audience. The plaintive acoustic guitar and his relaxed croon on “Little Lies” are sure to go down smoothly with both people who happily shell out tons of money for Coldplay tickets and those who’d rather pay to block Coldplay songs from ever piercing their digital music libraries.   v

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