Nude Girls star scores high - Arno moves on to Another Universe

2006-03-29 18:23

Avoiding the temptation to succumb to either ad hoc rock 'n roll extremism or infectious pop power ballad formulae, Carstens simply concentrates on singing songs.

Sure, the move towards a radio-friendly format may have some critics rushing to pigeonhole the 12 tracks as some kind of adult oriented album rock sell-out. Forget about it. The seamless succession of micro-observations on life as seen through the eyes of a singer songwriter who was never really at home with his iconic status makes for repeatedly rewarding listening. In fact, free from the vibrato and effects pedal-fuelled excesses that characterised late era Nude Girls, it's enthralling just hearing Arno's authentic voice for the first time.

With New Porn band of brothers, Albert Frost and Brendan Jury adding their own distinctive blues and classically inflected flavours to the mix, Arno roams freely between spine tingling rock ballads ("Boy", "Woman", "Another Universe"), rollicking jukebox anthems ("African Sunrise") and confessional acoustic odes ("Something We Started", "Neon Girl").

Whether Another Universe manages to catapult Arno back into the larger music buying public's consciousness is completely irrelevant. On frank 'n forthright commentaries on the fickle nature of fame ("Life's a Bitch", "Cooler Lifestyles") he manages to convince us that he's moved way beyond needing the affirmation of an adoring public anyway.

Update on 26 May 04! Another Universe is nominated for three Sama Awards: Best Rock Album, Best Adult Contempory Album (English), Best Male Artist. And the album goes gold.

With the release of his debut solo CD Another Universe Arno Carstens exchanges the frenetic modern rock blueprint that secured the Springbok Nude Girls their adoring fan base, for a far more understated, indeed "classic rock" conception of songwriting.

Flea 2003/10/23 9:19 AM
Respect You've got to respect Carstens. He doesn't really seem to care what people want or think anymore - he just does his stuff. Whether or not his new album is "brilliant" - that's a matter for some debate - it hasn't grown on me yet. But at least one SA rocker is doing what he loves, and not what he thinks will sell. Prime Circle - these guys show real promise
nicola 2003/10/25 11:31 AM
arno rocks It's just [obscenity deleted]ing awesome
Coup d'etat 2003/10/25 11:10 PM
From now on forward Another top SA artist, in a few years there will be even more SA band making it big, Vive! tool, the laterus
martin 2003/10/26 7:27 AM
good album! nice collection of songs! hope its not the last we hear of him...where's the rest of the nudies?
Keith van der Merwe 2004/05/27 3:54 PM
Arno Carstens - Another Universe Really good, the volkswagen add on TV is a hit because of the soundtrack. My 12 yr old son also loves the music. Most definately
Johan 2004/05/28 8:17 PM
Mr A really well balanced collection.Great Songs.Great Voice. Would LOVE to hear & see Arno & Karen (Zoid) live on stage TOGETHER!
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