Foster and Allen - Sing the Number 1's

2006-11-10 17:53
Foster & Allen is wildly popular in South Africa. This should be a source of national shame, but since we have other, much bigger problems, we've never really faced up to it and dealt with it.

Many will say that the problem is not as serious as it seems. "My Grandma likes it. It makes her happy!" they'll say. Not a valid point. Caramel cookies make her happy too, and they're almost as unhealthy.

The latest CD - probably designed to boost David Gresham's Christmas sales, is called Foster & Allen Sing the Number 1's. First crime: There's an apostrophe in Number 1's! The next bad decision is the inclusion of the song "My Ding-A-Ling". A song about these old dudes' "you know whats". Which may amuse Grandma, but it is not an image most young and vibey people will nurture without feeling queasy.

And of course, the inevitable crazies are going to come out of the woodwork, now, shouting how it's Naaaaaas music and the CD reviewer should be fired, and how can we begrudge people the pleasure of listening? Well just keep putting cheese sauce on your crayfish, why don't you?

The crayfish, in this metaphor, is the many wonderful songs that Foster and Allen murder on this 40 track bargain-bin Christmas release special. Just a few of the pop classics they trample include: "Unchained Melody", "Strangers in the Night", "Bridge over Troubled Water", and "Annie's Song".

A terrible injustice has been done to music, here. Every track is stripped of character. No beat is pushed. No dynamic explored with subtlety or feeling. Somehow some of the most amazing pop melodies written sound twee when they come out of the mouths of these men. Sadly, none of this will stop some people buying this album, or clapping along while it plays.

- Jean Barker

Do you watch DSTV's series channel? If you do, you'll know that in between re-runs of sitcoms and dramadies from the 80s and 90s, you have to sit through adverts for the worst music produced during the last 40 years. Some of this is sung by a duo known as Foster & Allen.

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