Album review: Tresor’s amapiano and pop-infused melodies in Motion

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There are some moments on this album that will be easily remembered for years to come. Photo: Supplied
There are some moments on this album that will be easily remembered for years to come. Photo: Supplied





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His sixth album, Motion, is aptly named as this singer and songwriter embodies the dying discipline of progression. Mukengerwa Tresor Riziki’s 14-track opus sees him outdo himself and reach a higher level of expression. This delightful project starts with Lighthouse, a gentle lullaby of love that Da Capo and Sun-El Musician help him create. It has a melody that alleviates any weight you’re carrying and gives the album a comforting feel – something easy and palatable, but still layered.

Smoke and Mirrors sees the crooner bring out the always vocally astute Ami Faku. They harmonise their way through a folk-inspired ballad in which they try to better their grasp of falling in love. It is a sweet serenade of the sorrows and joys of love. A perfectly shaped pop song that will easily climb the charts, despite the ferocious hunger for amapiano.

But with that in mind, Tresor has some of that beloved sound stowed away for safe keeping on Makosa, with his creative compadres, Maphorisa and Kabza De Small. Before that, he flaunts his guest list further by allowing an artist with one of the most potent pens in the game, Msaki, to accompany him. Hold Me Down keeps the atmospheric feel of the album intact.

The first four songs are the kind that make perfect sense to play when you’re all alone. You know that’s when you can bust out those odd dance moves that seem so right to you, but would see you exiled if performed in public.

He gave Drake a throw-away. Okay, maybe that’s an exaggeration as his song Fountains on the praised CLB (Certified Lover Boy) is good. But this right here. Photo: Supplied

The two invite an uninhibited ardour that renders innocent sentiments of desire that spill over perfectly on the track, Zwakala. Tresor sings a promise to hold his love close when night falls as the very genuine-sounding instrumental swells soulfully behind his vocals. Sampling Stimela’s seminal pop masterpiece, Zwakala (Come To Me) is a bold move. He references that timeless hook and uses it as his own. He then has the audacity to make it work perfectly, for what is arguably the most formidable track so far. This beat is infectious, and it spreads rapidly – just pull up to a garage and let some of this song seep out of a crack in your window. R50 says you at least get a rhythmic head bop from an unsuspecting bystander.

Tresor and The Scorpion Kings could be one of the hardest trios in the game. The production Maphorisa and Kabza are able to cultivate should be studied at a higher level and dissected. This is sheer alchemy-baffling wizardry that is hard to ignore. This is a masterfully executed demonstration of how well suited amapiano is to sounds beyond the borders as Tresor makes use of Swahili lyrics and they sound like they belong.

The composition has a swollen breakdown that leads to the bridge that sees a synth and drum combo pelt your soul, as only that knock of amapiano can. This song is a serious hitter and needs a video urgently. Many of us consider Samthing Soweto the reigning male crooner of amapiano. Tresor submits a solid appeal for consideration with this song added to his catalogue.

We were happy to hear he was able to appear on Drake’s Certified Lover Boy, earning himself a production and songwriting credit – but he clearly kept the major heat for himself – good move.


Phumlani S Langa 


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