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Various - Spirit of the Great Hearts

2008-03-11 10:58
“Spirit of the Great Hearts”, a lyrical and musical adaptation of Johnny Clegg’s classic sung by everyone involved in this charity project for Starfish is a perfect and sincere liberal anthem from a time before liberal became a dirty word. It’s probably the highlight of this collection of songs, rearranged with varying degrees of success for the good cause. Interesting moments include a lush rendition by Arno and New Porn of "Love the Whole World", and Brenda Burnit’s overly earnest but very new South Africa rock statement about her nation, "Afrikaner".
Proverb’s "Raise Em Up" and oddly, Louise Carver doing "Perfect Day" turn out better than expected. But Danny K and Bala Brothers just sound creepy and leering on "Strength of a Woman" and "Beautiful Women" - if you don’t have any songs about anything BUT nailing nookie, just stay out of the compilation, guys. After Josie Field, Chris Chameleon, the Parlotones and Alistair Coakley do their thing, Sipho Hotstix Mabusa’s remixed "Burnout" sounds unbearably dated, in the way only dance can.

The way it ends underlines the oddness of this well-intentioned, mis-matched mix tape. In the end, there’s no musical. reason to buy it. But if you want to plump up your collection of 80s and 90s musical memorabilia, it’s a nice way to donate some money to a good cause. Because they’re not likely to be released elsewhere, every SA rock fan could use about 10 of the 18 tracks, maybe more.

- Jean Barker
About Starfish
The Starfish charity that believes each person can make a difference. Which is cheesy but ultimately wonderful. The same could be said of some of the music on this collaborative compilation, contributed mainly by top 80s and 90s SA music stars who’re still plugging away at it today. To make a difference you can donate to Starfish, even if you’re not buying this CD.

Compilations can go horribly wrong – particularly those that bring together different musical styles linked only by a theme. Spirit of the Great Hearts is patchy, in different places depending on your musical taste. But for a fan of SA’s 80s and 90s pop music heroes, it’s compulsively iPod-dable.


Angel 2008-03-11 11:26 AM
Cheesy? Starfish You date yourself when you use words like 'cheesy'. Why not just use "goodness gracious me"as well? The spirit of thecompilationis to 'help' people. The spirit of the review seems to miss this point. Fast becoming a site to avoid. There is nothing resembling intelligent commentary to be found here...

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