Or so I thought until I discovered to my horror that Eastlife's Some Hearts was conceived in all earnestness - as a serious boyband music release.
This band features famous names like Highveld Stereo DJ Jeremy Mansfield and er... that's it. Joining him are Harry, Paul, and Jarrid (selected by listener survey.)
Never have thinner, more childish vocals been sung by fatter, more aging men. Without the crackfiller of state of the art studio production, they'd be completely unlistenable. They cover and destroy classics like "Under the Boardwalk" (shouldn't that be Baldwaddle?), "Can't smile without you" (featuring the inspired lyric "Can't sing...).
Eastlife descend to the pits of bad taste with a flat, rhythmically dead and digitised cover of Bright Blue's 80s anti-apartheid hit "Weeping", and never rise again.
This is an album so revolting that if the same people who decide what gets played on radio weren't actually in the band, we would have been spared it ever being released.
Now, I know I'm meant to be nice about this. The proceeds from the album go to charity, you see. Says the Highveld Stereo website: "Proceeds from ticket and CD sales will be used to set up a trust fund for adults and children in need of cochlea implants. It is the vision of Primedia Broadcasting to give the power of sound to the hard of hearing community, improving their quality of life."
Let's hope nobody who has their hearing restored as a result of the sales of Some Hearts is ever forced to listen to it, or they might perform some emergency cochlea implant reversal surgery.
If these guys want to do anything other than satisfy their own egos, how about sponsoring an album, and promising to give it airplay, that features real South African artists, instead of producing something that sounds like it was done by a 50 year old who got a Casiotone for his midlife crisis.
- Jean Barker
WHAT OTHER CRITICS SAID:
"What? What?! No! Ha ha ha ha ha! No!"- Alistair Fairweather, MWEB Movies editor
"The best CD ever played on Highveld Stereo" - Jeremy Mansfield's Mom** not a real quote
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