Album Review- Mwanamuziki (Child of Music)

 

ALBUM REVIEW- MWANAMUZIKI (CHILD OF MUSIC) by ANNIESOUL
AnnieSoul
 She is a student ofmusic at the famous Berklee college of music (yes where Eric Wainaina was also).Her first recollection of a performance was when she was two years old. Herenchantment with the piano mesmerizes me and her prowess at it makes me want todance just at the thought of it.
 The album starts withan intro prayer asking God for guidance and direction, for the things that sheintends to pursue and slows to an introduction of her name ‘Annie Soul’
‘Mwanamuziki’, a mix of Swahili and English flow introducesher to the audience with a sense of the African queen and patriotism infused inthe lyrics. I like the humming harmonization that is done in the better partsof the track. Like a child needing nurturing, I’ll be your child Mwanamuziki.
“Tabasamu” (translated as smile) is a song I would like tobe dedicated for anytime of the year especially with the cold that July brings.It arouses a feel of Sade’s style of singing in the solder of love. Theacoustic flow,  slow expressions and theintonation of the various lines as the music progresses draws you into likingthe background repetition of the word tabasamu. …wanipa thamani, you give memeaning.
“The floor” is a sweet slow hand in hand danceable that getsits definition from the Neo soul backing of the likes of Vivian Green. Itexpresses a need of wanting the past to be repeated again.  it felt as though sung by a girl clinging ontoa dead relationship hopping it will go back to the honeymoon phase  when they used to dance in love.
The sixth track ‘release me’ is a song that I relate to inso many ways (in terms of my BMX bicycle). We still hold on to people who leftages ago, when we think we have moved on something triggers the memory of themand the only thing we can say is, please release me. This is a song about theend of her relationship two years ago which she still re-lives as though onrewind triggered by a slow song. The song is slow and has a jazzy feel to itthough the disappointing part is that it ended in a feel of hopelessness.
A prose in the middle of the album is what embraced me inthe eleventh track, “D.U.I” [driving under the influence] a performance about a‘High’ driver running away from the police after an intoxication escapade. As apoet the story is good but there is a bit of a discord in the story’s beginningand its subsequent story line.  This isnot the only poem in the album, track 14 “T.D.Y.B.M.H” [the day you broke myheart] is also a performance that would be awesome if not for the musicalbacking that it was given.
My favorite track is track 12 that got my head bumping andmy fingers snapping with a nice feel of the early 90s when Missy Elliot was rulingthe music scene, when there were skits and verbal interchange in the middle ofthe song. Its beats are well arranged and the echo helps the song rise abovenormalcy.
A salsa beet comes to play with lots of guitar strumming intrack 16 “goodbye” it feels like it ought to be put among the first songs inthe album. It is about a relationship that is in the end and the only thing leftto do is to let go and walk away. Walk far away from the source.
It is a 17 track album with the 17th track called“keep at it” named bonus track about talent and rights in terms of lady power.This track feels misplaced for the album as it is not afro-soul in any beat(pan intended) of it. It is a rap/cypher kind ofa track that will make any neo soul lover press next.
I feel the album ought to have been arranged a bit differentwith more upbeat tracks placed between the slow mellow feeling songs to breakthe monotony.  And the large number oftracks makes it a long album to listen to. The lack of different artists tobreak the sound of her sweet voice makes the album to end up feeling a littlerepetitive.
The album is well underpriced for its content and should belistened to in moderation, but I hope in the next album there are going to bemore voices from various artists in the album. Having heard her during a liveperformance, she is not a disappointment in any way. The album is a production of Major Soul, her own indepependent production house. (insert impressed)
pictures from reverbnation.com/anniesoul

Reviewed by Robert Mahebo
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