Various SA artists - Homegrown: the Ballads

2006-03-30 01:53

What are Seether, Prime Circle, Heinz Winckler, Coleske, Arno Carstens, Justin Berg ,Freshlyground and various other unconnected artists doing on one CD? This is completely unclear.

There are some top notch songs on this compilation, although the opening track ("Broken") on which Seether and Amy Lee collaborate drags badly. Prime Circle's acoustic version of "Let me go" ticks along nicely. Just Jinger have always had the knack for pop rock, as "She knows" proves. Heinz Winckler does a surprisingly slick performance of "Can't lose with you" (which of course, he didn't write.) Freshlyground's "Touch in the night" is one of the best songs of the year. Karen Zoid's "Beautiful" is convincing despite awkward moments. Arno Carstens' "Neon girl", while far from his best song, shines by comparison to most of the tracks. But the CD also features unimpressive material from Coleske, Eden, Nianell, David Abbate, Justin Bergh, Andre Sweigers and Disselblom, who do nothing but ape the worst of American corporate rock and pop.

Unreadable fonts in the amaturish cover design (copying that zip thing is just SO old, guys) combined with the misspelling of Arno Carstens' name, contribute to the overall impression of an extremely poor job sloppily done.

There's some great South African music out there. Some of it is on this CD. Unfortunately so are many of the worst clunkers ever recorded.

It seems a terrible injustice that some of the more intelligent rock and pop stars South Africa gave birth to should share space with such cheeseballs. They really have nothing in common with them, except their nationality.

- Jean Barker


South African bands and solo singers go the croon-a-tune route - well, they leave out most of the crashing guitars and ponder what makes the world go round (and at times crash and burn) - mostly love.
- Sally Scott for

Anyone remember that horrendously patronising "local is lekker" campaign run on radio? When they said "local" they meant "white rock and pop" and when they said "lekker" they meant "not bad - for a South African band". This shoddy compilation harks back to those bad old days.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.