Simphiwe Dana - the one love moment on bantu biko street

2007-01-26 16:31
 
The One Love Movement on Bantu Biko Street takes a smoother musical approach to familiar subjects. Of course, some fans and critics have slated it as a sell-out, as they tend to do when an artist they loved for some slight grittiness goes slicker. But Simpiwe Dana is not selling out as much as reaching out with more open arms.

Her second album is actually very similar to Zandisile in many ways that matter. Though there isn't a track with quite the bewitching power of "Vukani", she hasn't posed in a bikini and hired a casiotone. There's still the blue-washed album design with its cosmic theme, the English translations of her lyrics, the socio-political references and quotes, the perfection of her vocal intonation and the beat in her stomach that her rhythm section merely accompanies. You couldn't mistake this for anyone else's work but yes, she is different now.

So the first question is: Is an artist who starts out in one style obliged to stick with that style, so that fans can buy her albums without reading reviews, or listening to them first in the record store? Surely not. If consistency from one album to another is important, then let's fire Paul Simon, Hugh Masekela and all of U2. How dare they develop! A more important question is whether One Love Moment on Bantu Biko Street is worth buying. The answer is a resounding "yes". While Zandisile was hardly sparse, One Love takes Simphiwe's signature melodies, which wash and breathe like tropical waves, and adds a lusher, fuller layer upon layer of instrumentation over which her bone-dry but powerful vocal effortlessly sails. Zandisile was accessible, the follow-up is for everyone but the snobs.

The arrangements by seem a little over the top now and again - the wandering tinkle of the piano on the first track, beautiful though it is, seems irrelevant sometimes. But overall, this record is mainly different in that it is less arty, and more upbeat, with comfortable rhythms that rock you gently, and songs that flow more easily into each other. Perhaps this makes it more marketable to the "world music charts", but it also makes it easier to put on and just live with.

Put a bit of time aside, stop struggling, let her in.

- Jean Barker
Dana's superb, silkysand vocals and songwriting on Zandisile created some massive expectations from the beautiful South African songstress, whose music was also art that taught lessons of unity, understanding and forgiveness.

phillipine 2007/01/29 9:39 AM
bantu biko street zandisile was wonderfully but bantu is megnificent, this woman has a good way of composing her music that after listening to her cd,u cant wait for the realise of another.good work sister,i love it
Sive Booi 2007/02/09 3:55 PM
Best of all times Wow !!! I think most of the people knew that this philosopher and sophisticated lady will definetely come even stronger this time , and yes she did . Taking us back to our roots with her exhilarating voice of a bird . It is so undisputaeble that Simphiwe Dana is the best on her league .
Asanda Nogaya 2007/04/10 1:25 PM
Miss I love All Simphiwe,she just gets better everytime,i mean this woman make my soul alive she bring back the tru african in me.I love U Simpiwe U'r the Best
Pateka Ngabayena 2007/04/15 4:56 PM
The One Love Movement on Bantu Biko Street I love it
Edmond 2007/04/16 4:46 PM
Simpiwe dana She is damn gud
Siya 2007/04/17 6:03 PM
Simpiwe Dana Girl ! you're the highly favoured!!"Your victory is as sure as my Kingdom is sure. Your victory is a settled fact. I dwell in the light of your victory, therefore walk in the light of your victory....I called you to walk in power; I called you to walk in glory. Did you say how? It's by my Spirit, saith the Lord! Keep walkin in that light girl,you're Africa's pride and joy!
Baphiwe 2007/05/08 5:33 PM
Afroqueen by far Simphiwe awakes the deep soul in me. Her uniqueness and oblivion to the worldly things is evident in her music. Her lyrics are poetic. She sounds beyond human understanding. I liken her body of work to that of John legend and Nina Simone. Her tone, cleanliness, feeling and originality emanates. I wonder what Sello Duicker would have thought of her. I have bought all my friends the CD
Baphiwe 2007/05/08 5:41 PM
Afroqueen by far Simphiwe awakes the deep soul in me. Her uniqueness and oblivion to the worldly things is evident in her music. Her lyrics are poetic. She sounds beyond human understanding. I liken her body of work to that of John legend and Nina Simone. Her tone, cleanliness, feeling and originality emanates. I wonder what Sello Duicker would have thought of her. I have bought all my friends the CD
azukile 2007/05/15 12:14 PM
love your music love your taste in music but sisters let go of them high hills they are not you
Nombuyiselo 2007/05/16 4:39 PM
Sizophuma elokishini Simphiwe Dana
Siphokazi 2007/10/13 11:59 PM
She speaks to me She speaks to me, she speaks my soul. Ingathi uyadiva.
Susan Ntete 2007/12/04 2:05 PM
Bantu Biko Street I love your music sisi, but right now Im curious about the thought process behind this song- what is it about and what motivated you to come up with this kind of title.
lubabalo 2008/02/14 12:23 PM
mr wow my sister i'must say uyalazi ibali lako ingakumbi xa ubhala isixhosa sakho sisulungekile plz ungayeki uyasikhuthaza umculo wakho go girl
Mpumie 2008/08/12 11:57 AM
absolutely amazing i love the type of jazz, soothing music for the soul. Enkosi Sis Simphiwe, undikhumbuza ekhaya. My very favourite is Bantu Biko Street Keep up with the wonderful work :-)
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