The record itself has the same feel: just out of pre-production, ready for the studio, ready for sanding around the edges but most definitely not ready for a post-Christmas, pre-reccesion Seffrican public in no mood for filler.
Backtracks! Tribute is chock-a-block with karaoke-grade backtracks, sweetened only barely by Anke’s reality-contest winning voice. She’s strong, she can hold her notes, but with such terrible production as a platform, the Diamond of Kimberley is left terribly exposed.
Ocassionally, the stars align and we are allowed a little fun. Allanah Myles’ “Black Velvet” is a winner. The melody is mostly cheese-free; Anke sings, rather than recites, and we get an idea of the qualities that pushed her to popularity in 2003’s Idols competition. But failed stabs at Tina Turner’s “The Best” and Madonna’s “Hung Up” make things all too clear: it’s been a rush job.
We like these characters, these brave people who struggle and succeed for their record deals in front of our very eyes. But music isn’t charity. Eventually we all see things from Simon Cowell’s perspective: this music is good enough, or it’s not.
Anke needs a do-over. If she gets one, a little extra graft could help her cause, but not nearly as much as a better title.