Download Robin Auld's MP3s: "Bobby Come Back", "Southern Cross" and "Comfort of Strangers". Note that these are the old versions of the songs.From the freeflowing choruses of "Beautiful Things", with its warning of possible loss, to the paternal "Kiss it off", to the catchy circular 80s SA rock beats of "Slip away" Auld's cool, sunny melodies have their blue tones. But he never descends into melancholic moping.
Diamond of a Day is a dappled, sleepy emotional journey. This isn't the activist side of South Africa, or the angsty post '94 white identity crisis side of South Africa. This is a collection of remembered moments, like a reflection of the musings your mind meanders into lying in the sun under a tree in summer, or eating an ice cream on the beach.
Take "Solid Gold", which mixes mockery of the old rock fans, "rocking out", living in the musical past, with tenderness: "Like vintage cars shining bright on a Sunday drive / Everybody smiles as they pass by."
Auld's mix of honest emotions together with flawless, accessible rock singing style give the songs longevity and save him from accusations of hypocrisy. Because as much as Auld's sound is updated to suit the times, it's not there to change the times. Nothing wrong with that. Auld's long and solid career commands huge respect on the SA music scene, and his grounding in the more timeless tenants of our shared musical past (combining mbaqanga, celtic sounds, pop and blues traditions) is what holds it all together.
And so, re-recorded beautifully, the Auld classic: "All the girls cried". An hilarious narcissistic fantasy set in the mind of a rock star who imagines himself massively wealthy, famous and dead, and tortures himself with darkly romantic images of groupies crying, while his true love remains unmoved. Ah, haven't we all had these "daymares"? Also included is a reworked version of the heart tugging classic, "Slip Away."Diamond of a Day - which features Anton Fig's lovely percussion, as well as many other respected session musicians - is a hard to fault, unassuming, polished collection of sweet rock songs.
- Jean Barker
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