ANC election album fails to strike a chord

2011-03-12 16:33

The ANC’s 2011 local government elections album has to be one of the most mortifying ­ventures in recent local music ­history.

After years of adopting Afro-pop and gospel ditties for election campaign rallies, the 99- year-old party has now released its own “original” album – and we have ANCYL president ­Julius Malema to thank for it.

Exactly what role Juju played is not specified on the ­album notes but Justice Minister Jeff Radebe, Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula and party spokes­person Jackson Mthembu are listed as ­executive producers.

Maybe this explains the choice of throwback musicians featured and why it’s the most unrefined, crass and galling ­excuse for music to hit our stores in a long while.

Arthur Mafokate’s 999 Music, Sello Twala Music and Kalawa Jazmee Records are the three record companies that gave the nod to produce this 12-track CD.

And other than Let’s Move On by Bruce Dope, featuring ­Mzebbs, Speedy and Stoan – which has a nice hip-hop beat – every track on this CD is an embarrassment of herculean proportions for the once respected musicians and producers.

The music is of poor quality, the lyrics are a joke, the final mix stage seems to have been skipped and the whole score is as original as Khanyi Mbau’s singing voice.

The party’s sex kitten, Chomee, opens the show with an uptempo song called Together We Can (build better communities), which cribs the beat from Brenda Fassie’s popular wedding backtracks with ululating women.

The lyrics that follow are: “Was living in a shack / but now I have a house because of the ANC / I drank water from the river / now I have a tap because of the ANC / Used to walk on a veld / now I walk on a road because of the ANC / I was jobless / now I have work because of the ANC.”

Then there’s Chicco Twala, who hasn’t let her death stop him from dishonouring Fassie’s memory.

He uses a Fassie sound-alike and backtracks similar to those of Fassie classics Hlabel’ aMadlozi and Ngizohlala Nginje. It’s cringe­worthy stuff and demeaning to ­Fassie.

Zuma himself is on the cover of the CD in bad make-up and moobs (man boobs) galore!

Hopefully this CD will not make it onto retail space and will instead be given away for free at rallies.

It only proves that the ­irrelevant 80s and 90s relics of South African music are doing their damndest to bring back a bygone era some would rather forget.

Score: 4/10

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