• Music

Miguel - Wildheart

Miguel coverThe best way to start one's day for many is to sip a cup of coffee.

That is exactly what Miguel has done with his latest album, "Wildheart". The mood-setter ("Coffee") is one of those elegant tracks that mark the spot on one's heart and leave indelible marks.

'We begin with breaking news here...,' the opening line on the album opener "a beautiful exit", an imperious open ended production that is a make of excellence. He then seals the "DEAL" with the funky follow-up that will see you moved.

"KURUPT" features on the groovy and titular "NWA". The track takes you on a musical journey of note and pounces when unexpected with its power.

"Too proper for the black kid, too black for the Mexican, too square to be a hot ni***r, ...' goes the statement making "What's normal anyway". The introspective song will turn you upside down and make you face up to the difficult question of "What's normal anyway" without sounding preachy. Have U ever felt like you belong is the question that's gonna be ringing in your musical ear after listening to the track?

"Hollywood dreams" is as eclectic as the star gets and hits with its liveliness, and as usual he turns it all up with his genre breaking style of making music with the hot "...going to hell". Like how the rock elements just add something special to the track.

Also making this album into a staple are tracks such as the fresh "Flesh" that is just waiting for you to take a bite on it, the easily populated "Leaves" with its nicely building beats, and then heats it up with the guitar totting Lenny Kravitz on "Face the sun". Careful, not to burn yourself on the latter's celebratory and sizzling make-up.

Be caught up in his falsetto delivery on the exuberant "Gfg", the joyful and groovy "Destinado a morie" (...Did I hear say we are alright after listening to it), and the simplified "Simple things" that has its way with the heart strings.

"Damned" exudes playfulness and makes the ear its playground, thanks to its delivery. It is beautiful, it is unstoppable, it is exciting, it is flaunting, it is wild, it is... damn! Review by Mandla Motau

Roque - Lockdown

Roque MboMbombela's Roque is adding that Mpumalanga spark to the dance music scene, as is carried by the like of MiCasa's Dr Duda, and Sdunkero back in the day with "Mine beng'dzakiwe".

Roque has got it "Lockdown" as he introduces a deep sound that is as bright as sunrise (well, guess that has everything to do with his MP origins). Of course, the fact that House Africa (Tim White/Vinny Da Vince/DJ Strat3gy) signed him on, can only be testimony that he has lots to offer the industry.

"Wanderlust" manages to add a embellish the inner soul, all thanks to the soulful voice of Jaidene Vede. This is one of those tracks that adds that vibrancy within and brightens ones mood instantly.

Kenny Allen helps keep you in "This moment" with his melodic voice that has a calming effect. This here tune will overwhelm your senses with its brilliance, impactful musicality and driven bassline.

The album takes a gigantic leap as it hits hard with the pulsating "Smile keeper". Featuring Lungelo, this thumping keeper is one of those tracks that will get the phlegmatic in nature find themselves moving unintentionally.

"I miss U", ft. "l am x", keeps the heat on with beautifully layered vocals and lively nature, yet effective musicality. It's like it was made to have such an effect once experienced.

"lmpahla" is a forceful and loaded number ft. Dineo; you will answer the calling of the mystical instrumental "Our ancestors are calling; and the more you get into his music, the more you will admit that you are rhythmically "Never alone" (ft. Oso T). "Affection" (ft. Morzaaq Def Village) is exactly what you will have for him after listening to his music, and Da Capo teaming up with him creates an explosive "Tech this out".

"Hey", this is enigmatic, and just remarkable. He has the chants filled and funkdafied "Tarzan" (tribute to Ame) moving with him to lay this project down, but then again, this is music, and you are at liberty (...I know you will want to) to press play again to go through this musical experience.

Aziwe ke... Review by Mandla Motau

Jammie Foxx - Hollywood: A story of a dozen roses

JFJammie Foxx is back on the musical front again with "Hollywood: A story of a dozen roses".

All those who were hoping that he will mess up his latest release, after the national anthem's mishap early this year, will be disappointed. The release, separated into three parts, is currently seating at the summit of the Billboard R&B Albums chart and is a make of a remarkable music.

Who else, but Bad Boy Chris Brown gets to accompany the perfect gentleman on the album's first single "You changed me". The track is suave, lavish, classy, with a driven and throbbing snare, making it a perfect setting for the release.

Jammie will hit you "Like a drum", as he delivers the sultry and make of a single material that oozes hip-hoppish elements, although very much an r&b track. The stupendous track has a moving sound that will make even the phlegmatic and stiff find it difficult to not respond to it. Wale adds something special to the stupifying track. "Ma ma ma ma...," did I hear you sing along to it? Its ay, just as long as you let it cool you down with its cooling instrumental ending.

Take "Another dose" of the intoxicating chill pill feed of his music. Smooth and laid back, it will take you to some places inside and passionately engage you.

Just as you are getting drawn in by the music's passion, he invites you on the dance floor to get it on with "Tease". Off course he teases you with Pharell Williams to add more happiness to your vivacious moments on the track. Kid Ink jumps in with his rap lines to assist the singer on the funky "Baby's in love" to create that energetic and lovely feel.

Yeah, as we know some thing start with a "Text message" lately and laid out like this, it could end up at greater heights. He then takes his music to "Hollywood" on what fittingly sounds like a soundtrack to something dramatic and worth experiencing - falsetto and impressive backings to back it up.

You know that what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas right? "Vegas confessions" is an eclectic cut that excites with the way its made and is one of those lovely tracks that makes you feel you like you have just experienced something that leaves a smile on your face and not willing to share.

Move in step with the "Socialite", as he take you to fun places with Dre and Sean D on the writing side. 'I don't know how she did it, but she got it...' goes this track that has a pulsating and whimsical effect.

Get taken by the massive "In love by now" that sees the star passionately do his thing on the piano, with Travis Sayles hitting the notes with him. They again gang up on the piano to create something wonderful on "Jumping out the window". Elevating in nature, the two make those moments that accoustic memories are created with. Immaculate indeed.

He is right "On the dot" as he delivers the polished track with "Fabolous". Could it be that they did this to make the person its directed to definitely miss him when he is gone. Listen to the track's last part to just make you press repeat when the tracks comes to an end.

The deluxe edition of the album also includes "Right now" that might get you feeling like getting down right and dirty. Love the thumping intro to "Pretty thing" that includes portions of James Ingram's "P.Y.T (Pretty Young Thing)" reimagined.

Mario Winans brings this impressive work to a proper ending with the theatrical and piquant "Ain't my fault". It aint my fault that this album is great. Blame it all on Jamie Foxx. Review by Mandla Motau

JODECI - The past, the present, the future

jodecinew1Remember the era of ama soft - a township slang for smooth and relationship related r&b music.

This was the era when acts such as Boyz II Men, BlackStreet, R Kelly, Keith Sweat and well, the bad boys of the lot - JODECI, used to be the soundtrack of many a relationship back then. Yep, this was the time when owning these acts' music, which used to be blasted out loud by amagrootman (grown ups) on loud speakers, and a number of r&b acts meant you were one of the coolest and knew your music - 5 points on your status standing.

Hands up to those who used to make an r&b music tape/mix tape (...yep, your TDK earned U points) to earn high marks with the ladies they were trying to impress. Sistas, I am not letting you off easily here: how many of you would give a brother the time of the day based on a beautifully compiled tape - and yes, then write down those lyrics on your notebook to recite in class to show you know your music? ...those where the times I tell you.

Fast forward 20 years, JODECI, the act that includes the popular Hailey brothers - KCI and Jojo, Devante Swing and Mr Dalvin, has made a comeback into the music scene. Their latest release since 1995's platinum-seller (million in the US) "The show, the after party, the hotel" includes everything from "The past, the present, the future".

This album that peaked at Number 2 on the R&B album Billboards chart sees the act including music that fuse their New Jack Swing and soulful sound from back in the day, add elements of where they believe are now and in creating something that they hope will define their future sound. Add to that, they have also worked with Timbaland on this return release to claim their space in the industry.

On close listen, you will easily pick up the Timbaland influence on boundary breaking "Those things" and the emollient and groovy "Incredible". As we know him, Timbaland is used to breaking the rules and making his own to create something new and different, and that's what he attempts to do on these two tracks with Devante Swing.

Opening with the perky and vibey "Too hot" with AV as an assist, the album is led by the lovely single "Every Moment". This is old school r&b as we knew it, and the vocal elements are to die for. Devante Swing again hooks up with Bradd Young and Marquinarius "Sanchez" Holmes on "Checking for you", and the exciting bounce-to-this feel "Sho out" that has a freshness to it.

Then there is the quick and vibrant peace offering "Nobody wins" that has a winning musical and vocal combination. One gets to experience the track twice on the album, with the other version featuring B.O.B adding some fast & furious raps on the hit in waiting.

"Jennifer" roars and attempts to make a stake in the epic sphere. A vocal powerhouse that plays so well to the accompanying piano, I wouldn't be surprised if many dance to this at their weddings soon.

The jury is still out whether the younger generation can connect with their sound though, or whether the pips who grew up on this domineering sound still find it relevant, and ready to move on with it to the future. Review by Mandla Motau

Tamia - Love Life

Love LifeSome people don't seem to age at all.

Take Canadian singstress Tamia for instance. The vocalist is looking as remarkable as she has all these last two decades since we became acquainted with her voice in what surely feels like a long time in this dog eat dog industry.

Well, I am happy to announce that her voice is still just as amazing on her latest studio album, "Love life". Yep, many simply got convinced of that point on the single "Love falls over me" that left us excited with the way it has been synthesized and how it touches one's inner self with its striking delivery.

She manages to strike the right chord with the perfect "Chaise lounge" as well. ...and as she orders 'take of your clothes', this is a requirement that would easily be honoured given just the way it's been delicately made. It is laidback and manages to drive the point home.

Tamia lays it in a groovy way on "Sandwich and soda" that just takes over and leads the way with its provocative nature. Made with just the right ingredients, this here is one of those tracks that twists your musical ear around its beat, amazes and in its delivery, thus creating sheer pleasure.

"Nowhere" is one of those tracks that make a drive to someone/something one yearns a pleasure, and a perfect mood setter. It is one of those tracks that will see you play about cheerfully with no care in the world.

She is charming on the welcome "Lipstick". Did I hear you say she can land the "Lipstick" anywhere she pleases on your body? I don't blame you, as this track has that moving effect that is likely to have its way with emotions.

Nothing beats anything that makes one feel "Special" like a passionate creation. Even more so is when you are 'loved by my baby' and creating moving moments that are made to an embellishing soundtrack like this one – 'something special' and definitely touching indeed. The bridge on the song is to die for.

This exhilarating project also includes the frisky and tittup "Like you do", the stupefying "Black butterfly" on which she locks it down with her resonant voice, and the upbeat "You gave me something" with its funky approach. The singer also slows it down and does her thing to your soul with her music on the encasing "Stuck with me", featuring its fascinatingly vibrant bassline, and "No lie" that is delivered in an honest way and likely to open you up wilfully. The epic "Day one" will get you hooked on the first listen and drag you along to evergreen sphere.

"Love life" comes to an end with the exulting "Rise" that will land you on cloud nine without much effort. While at it, let yourself go to the rhythmic piano lines that will leave noteworthy imprints in your heart. Enchanting, emboldening, graceful, powerful, amazing, and sturdy, it will leave you in a stupor, captivated, inspired and reaching a higher level deep inside.

Talk up about a musical come back of note. It is imperative that you go through this musical experience. Reviewby Mandla Motau

Kaylow - Reach out

Kaylow coverKaylow (Kelello Segoana) has done one of the best things by gathering the likes of Sir LSG, Nutty Nys, Nastee Nev, Rocco (France), Craig Massiv, Troyden, Chymamusique, Charles Webster (U.S), and more to help create an elegant product, "Reach out", under the House Afrika banner.

Furthermore, what better way to start off this experience than with "Close my eyes" and get taken away to perky surrounds. Produced by Sir LSG, the cut has that emollient effect and makes one imagine away the painful scenarios painted by the vocalist.

He then takes you to a special place on "The Soulcafe". You know when he says 'come on and take me where you wanna go' to a pumping beat that it's on. Of course the next stop is "The Soulcafe" and all U gotta do is '...move your body' to the punchy number.

A thumping bassline won't let you "Walk away" on the immersing track, and Bright Breeze breathes in something exceptional on "Nothing better" that just does sensational things to the soul, making u fall in lover all over with the singer.

Feel the killer bassline on "Reach out" that then follows up with a crazy sax on the musically charged track. This is a strong vocal and musically fit track that just plays easy on the ear. Did I hear you say 'Reach out', ...don't hold it back, sing along, as the vibrant track just demands that you do just that.

Frenchman Rocco is on the driving seat on the pumping "Rather be with you". Listen how the bassline comes from down under to just be there as thee support structure that just keeps the stupendous track going together with the clap. ...it is amazing.

You know when you hear one of those cuts that make U demand the dance floor needs to stay open and U saying "Don't say we through". Although, this track is about a brother crying for his relationship to be over, that's the same feeling that you will be going through, as you wish for the track not to end. Nastee Nev just knows how to lay a lively composition.

Just to prove that it's not the reverberating beats that are making him sound great, Kaylow lays it low to a piano led on "Greatest love". He also closes off the album with the soulful and laidback "Sthandwa sam' proving that he is comfortable to many sounds.

The reviving "Cry 4 love", the funky electro "You", "Dysfunctional head" with its insane nature, and "When you're here" prove his vocal prowess that always adds something special to the music. Doubters will clearly and truly appreciate this house voice who oozes soul. By Mandla Motau

DA CAPO

Da capo coverDa Capo has made a great entry into the music industry with his esconsing and exciting self-titled deep house album.

The album opens up with the soothing radio friendly "Forever" featuring Apple. That evolving track is so delicious and is one of those that entangles the heart with such a musical spark and creates a long lasting bond with the artist, instantly.

He then gives you the sincere "Best thing" done with Lyric Shoxen. U will be mowed by its eclectic and cracking sound created to please.

Then get overjoyed by the emancipating and driven "Mid tone" (aquatone dub) that sizzles with emotion and filled with love. This instrumental is a perfect reminder of what it means to listen to really good and heartwarming music - satisfaction.

"I want you back", featuring Soul Star knocks hard with its vibrancy and groovy 'win-you-over' type of deliverance. Get radiated by "Inner light" that sizzles with its igniting flow lit by Clara Hill's voice.

Rona Ray joins Da Capo on his mission to mend broken hearts with the vivifying "Broken hearted". Andyboi then lends a hand in delivering "Somewhere in this world", which is exactly where the track takes you - anywhere your heart wishes.

He pays tribute to Lebohang Mashitisho with the fulfilling and mending sax driven "Life without you" featuring Denzil. What a captivating tribute. It is made to make up for that missing soul indeed.

The percussions driven "Celebration" is a festivity fit cut indeed, and Clemzozo does a great job on the piano and other instruments on this thumping track. Da Capo closes off this marvellous project with "Every lil symbol", a mark well made in the industry. By Mandla Motau

Dr Malinga - First injection

Dr Malinga 1st injectI I must confess that I didn't see this coming, ....and yes, it hit me right in the face.

Having seen Dr Malinga kicking higher that the average guy with the Linga Dance on SA stages, I sort of had an expectation of how his full album, "First injection", was going to sound like. His album cover didn't do much to sway me otherwise.

Oh...!, how wrong I was and many a critic who said all kind of things about how this guy has passed his sell-by date will end up with egg on the face. That's a guaranteed realisation once you get to go through this exceptional product - an efective injection.

The noncomformist's vibrant reintepretation of Ringo Madlingozi's "Nkqo nkqo" has been the one major thing that has filled the airwaves from this praise worthy album.

However, the 12 tracker that also include the Black Motion produced remake of the Stimela's "Go on (living your life)", that opens with the get up and do it yourself "Thandaza" (produced by Heavy K) that is picking up nicely on radio, offers way more and introduces us to the real artist this guy is.

'Haaibo, haaibo...' you will find youself singing along to the perky and resonant "Pika" featuring Sir Jarvas. It's a tight musical hit that has just the right dose to get its message accross and it hits home with it's message.

Feel the heat of "Boitumelo" (done with the help of Uhuru), one of those few dance music tracks that manages to ignite the love spark by just the way its made. Feel its heat and it will be such an effort to cool you down. You will shake your body to the Mono T assisted "Shake shake", get rocked by his own Jezzebel nose rubbing "Inhliziyo yelitshe" that goes 'ung'qome izolo namhlanje unoMono T...' and be moved by the percussive "Jika" done with Sir Jarvas.

Just when you think you have figured what he is about on this album, he puts a spin on the album with "Motlalepule". The track has its way with the heart and its rhythmic delivery can't be ignored. "Oteng" ignites the dance floor and doesn't let go with its tight grip. Love what they have done with the instrumentals, especially the guitar, on this pulsating track with a killer bridge. Don't deny its effect, just let it take over.

Even when he visits the Afro-pop sphere with "Sizophumelela", he hits a nerve in a compelling way. The motivational track is positive in approach without sounding preachy, and many will relate to its message in a big way. Love the way the vocals are written on this song that tells folks 'stand up toll and say ke a bakena batho banna..' and 'you can be whatever you want to be'.

The sincere Afro-soul "Xalifika" impresses with its vocal delivery that reminds of Ringo and has something really special that secures its own space. You have no choice but to fall in love with the cut.

He does his own "khumbul' ekhaya" with the introspective "Bakulindile". This track will move many to make the right decision about their dissappearing act and become a soundtract to doing the right thing.

I would take this Dr.'s orders anytime. Very good work indeed. By Mandla Motau

DJ QT - Quantized Mix 7

QT 7DJ QT takes his house to the church and love plateau on "Quantized Mix 7".

Sounding polished and featuring the DJ Clock "Union Dance" hit instrumental, the album introduces a number of local produces who are forever taking the genre to new spheres. Deep in approach, QT means business with this release that is punchy and drives one to uncontrollable excitement, and such create a propitious mood.

He comes out with Risal Sounds on the oh-so heavenly "Heaven" that sets the pace for the release. Leisurely paced, it cuts deep with its loungey pace and fulfils immensely. Only heaven can have such an effect.

Skaiva joins the star on "Sweet Jesus", featuring Rakeem. This is one of those tracks that hits hard from both sides with its strong vocal delivery and its instrumental acuity. You will be moved by the pleasant "sweet Jesus what a wonder who you....' lines.

The three once again team up on the powerful "We Jehova". With whistles and ululations galore, he takes it home with its undoubtedly African delivery that leaves it on that driven space.

The music gets spirited on the passionate "You & I" done with Mishka. Its percussive nature surely qualifies that it was meant to be a hit guaranteed to satisfy.

Stones and Bones ride it for all its worth with the Manoo Deep Mix of "Wrong U". Check out the sax and organ lively elements on the track. This is a passionate apology that can't be turned down.

"Sax in the house" by Emo Boys feels rhythmically satisfying. The sax accompanied by the thumping bass line on the punctilios instrumental that doesn't put a foot wrong. One of those tracks that you gooi into your music player and enjoy on a long ride (...holiday anybody?).

DJ Expertise featuring Teaman create something pulsating and wonderful – "Love for the first time". I won't fault you for falling in love with the track on the very first listen.

King Rayaa makes his well-meaning contribution with the "Ravishing" entry on the compilation. Love the bass line and keyboards work on the cut. And then it slows down and halts, before springing back on an energised kick halfway though.

House Victims have nothing to fear as they drive the bold and popular "Amen for 8years prayers" and it's Emo Boys Tribute 2014 Mix. The mix ends off with the resonant and emollient "Vibrations" by Sculptured Music feat Mr Sam. It's all jazzy on the expressive guitar driven track.

Talk about house music being musical and thrilling. This is an elevation for sure. By Mandla Motau