This week, I listened to the debut Mafriq album and as always, the Mafriq crew were original in the content of their songs. The essence of the African spirit as seen through the eyes of young adults was the most striking aspect of this album. The mixture of a traditional resonance with a deliciously urban flavour given to mundane Zimbabwean society activities such as gossiping and family life were strikingly captivating when brought to life through the songs “Chizevezeve” and “Musha Wedu”. Songs such as “Love Song” and “Higher” are not only a testament to the trademark Mafriq theme on Love, but also evidence of maturity in the substance of their music. The more relaxed and toned-down aura surrounding the song “Mvura Naya” left a lasting impression as did the surprisingly new voice and the rhythms of reggae felt in “Zion”.
As with any piece of music production, there was a downside to this album. Songs from previous years such as “Woza Mama Africa”(2002) and “Ndichakuudza Sei”(2004) were included, in fact, the so-called ‘remix’ of “Ndichakuudza sei” only has an extended introduction to this song with less instruments. These songs should not have been included in this new album and it was unnecessary to repeat the song “Zuva”. Pauline’s vocal skills in some of these songs leave a lot to be desired and this greatly reduced the overall quality of the entire album. The song “Can’t get no Gyal” did not adequately convey the message of the lyrics in a particularly remarkable way and neither did “Murombo” capture my attention so this was a major let down on this album. The overall, quality of production in terms of instrument clarity was good but of course, there are areas that need improvement.
This album gets a 6/10 so for those of you who are keen on urban grooves and enjoy the musical flavour Mafriq dishes out, this debut won’t be a let down. Expect greater things from this group and continue to watch this space.
Here is the video to their lead single off this album, the title track Chizevezeve: