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Various - Southern Gems

2007-10-17 14:08
Southern Gems is a compilation of 18 mainstream easy-listening nuggets by some of South Africa’s most popular English singer songwriters including Louise Carver, Josie Field, Flat Stanley, James Stewart and Chris Letcher. Yep, it’s a real Soutie’s Hottest Hits selection boasting a boot load of most loved - and overplayed - hits. If you haven’t been listening to the radio you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the quality of Chris Chameleon’s energetic ‘Shine’, Farryl Purkiss’ sweet ‘Ducking and Diving’, Harris Tweed’s delightful ‘Ode to Confusion’, and Josie Field’s serious ‘Every Now And Then’. But if you’re already a fan you’ll be bored, thinking you’ve heard these tunes too often. One true gem is the acoustic version of Springbok Nude Girls’ ‘Blue Eyes’. Slower than usual, and with less instruments and no loud guitar sounds, Arno Carsten’s voice rings out melodically as if he’s singing a lullaby. It’s very romantic.

Chris Letcher’s ‘Deep Frieze’, Jim Neversink’s ‘Mail Order Russian Bride’, Simon Van Gend’s ‘Minor Revelation’ and Nibs Van Der Spuy’s ‘Beautiful Feet’ all add some flavour. Their collective voices recall everyone from Cat Stevens to Neil Young accompanied by some skilled acoustic guitar playing that makes what would otherwise been a dull and undistinguished album worthwhile.

- Annél Malan

If you haven’t been listening to the radio, this album is for you. With five flawless southern gems and 13 radio play hits, the album is perfect for 30+ generation who have been ignoring SA’s shiny talent.

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