The Voice

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Mark Schwartz
Of all the glorious music showcased in the celebrated film Amandla! A Revolution in Four-Part Harmony, a rhythmic history of South Africa's anti-apartheid movement, singer Vusi Mahlasela stood out. A star in his homeland for over a decade, Mahlasela, whose poignant song-poems are as powerful as his preternaturally pure instrument, makes his international entrée with The Voice. It's a collection spanning the past 11 years of his career, which began in the community of singers and writers in Mamelodi township and was punctuated by his performance at the inauguration of Nelson Mandela in 1994. With a sound that incorporates the acoustic strum and finely wrought lyrics of ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Mark Schwartz
Of all the glorious music showcased in the celebrated film Amandla! A Revolution in Four-Part Harmony, a rhythmic history of South Africa's anti-apartheid movement, singer Vusi Mahlasela stood out. A star in his homeland for over a decade, Mahlasela, whose poignant song-poems are as powerful as his preternaturally pure instrument, makes his international entrée with The Voice. It's a collection spanning the past 11 years of his career, which began in the community of singers and writers in Mamelodi township and was punctuated by his performance at the inauguration of Nelson Mandela in 1994. With a sound that incorporates the acoustic strum and finely wrought lyrics of folk rock with an unmistakably jazzy bounce and the occasional understated chuk of reggae, Mahlasela's music has had the resonance of Dylan or Woody Guthrie in South Africa. Stateside listeners will note these touchstones and others: "Sleep Tight Margaret" takes mystic tea-time with Cat Stevens; the spoken stanzas of "Red Song" recall the majesty of Ladysmith Black Mambazo; and the radiant female chorus on many tracks invokes Bob Marley's I-Threes. Particularly open ears will hear the antecedents of fan Dave Matthews in the wistful vocals, unusual instruments acoustic guitars, pennywhistle, sax, mandolin, and formidable rhythmic verve. Mahlasela actually appeared on DMB's Everyday and was signed to the jam king's ATO record label. Equally impressive is what Mahlasela has to say, mostly in English on this collection, but also in various African languages. His are lyrics of struggle rendered in the personal, from "that woman who jumped the fence pregnant and still gave birth to a healthy child" to the cosmic, as mesmerizing in their continual telescoping as is the swooping quicksilver loveliness of his voice. There's triumph, joy, and pain in both what Mahlasela sings and how he sings it, making The Voice a wonderful and captivating discovery.
New York Times - Jon Pareles
A voice that leaps out of the music: grainy and gentle down below, rising to a clarion falsetto.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 7/22/2003
  • Label: Ato Records
  • UPC: 791022151220
  • Catalog Number: 21512
  • Sales rank: 355,318

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Melodi Ya Mamelodi (2:47)
  2. 2 Silang Mabele (5:38)
  3. 3 When You Come Back (4:10)
  4. 4 Weeping (5:39)
  5. 5 Sleep Tight Margaret (4:09)
  6. 6 Red Song (4:27)
  7. 7 Troubadour (4:32)
  8. 8 Emtini Wababe (4:36)
  9. 9 Fountain (3:24)
  10. 10 [Untitled] (4:04)
  11. 11 Mma Modiane (4:53)
  12. 12 Loneliness (4:29)
  13. 13 Ntate Mahlasela (3:27)
  14. 14 A Prayer for Our Time (2:37)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Vusi Mahlasela Primary Artist, Acoustic Guitar, Vocals
Noise Khanyile Violin
Bruce Cassidy Trumpet
Ian Herman Percussion, Drums
Faith Kekana Background Vocals
Stella Khumalo Background Vocals
Victor Masondo Bass
Louis Mhlanga Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar
Kelly Petlane Flute
Lloyd Ross Guitar, Mandolin
Wings Segale Background Vocals
James Stewart Background Vocals
Jannie VanTonder Trombone
Mauritz Lotz Guitar
Barry Snyman Alto Saxophone
Sipho Mbhele Background Vocals
Margaret Motsage Background Vocals
Vicky Vilakazi Background Vocals
Marcus Wyatt Trumpet
Kevin Gibson Drums
Herbie Tsoaeli Upright Bass
Jahn Beukes Bendir
Queen Ranyama Background Vocals
Bra Ntemi Piliso Alto Saxophone
Sipho Mxumalo Background Vocals
Johnny Motuba Drums
Tani Mello Keyboards
Jantshi Mayo Bass
Thandi Masemola Background Vocals
Caroline Masemola Background Vocals
Elway Masango Bass
Paul Majoro Electric Guitar
Constance Mahlo Background Vocals
Basie Mahlasela Percussion
Moses Mafiri Acoustic Guitar
Phil Holder Saxophone
Christopher Letcher Keyboards
Johan Laas Keyboards
Technical Credits
Greg Calbi Mastering
Louis Mhlanga Producer
Lloyd Ross Arranger, Producer, Engineer
Roger Steffens Liner Notes, Introduction
Vusi Mahlasela Arranger, Composer, Producer, Liner Notes
Rick Mitchell Programming, Engineer
Chris Tetzeli Executive Producer
Graham Beggs Producer
Proud People's Band Arranger
Lance McCormack Executive Producer
Johan Laas Programming
Richard Mitchell Engineer
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