Urban Zulu

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Don Snowden
No matter how scintillating and life-affirming the mbqanga of Mahlathini and the Mahotella Queens was when it hit the international pop scene in the late '80s, the fact remains it was golden oldies music from the '60s in South Africa, the equivalent of Chuck Berry or James Brown, or maybe the Rolling Stones. Urban Zulu an intriguing if flawed attempt to revive and update the Zulu traditional music that spawned mbqanga for the 2000 generation. Producer Will Mowat Soul II Soul also worked with Fernanda Abreu in Brazil, so he's no stranger to this kind of tradition update. But his overall thrust isn't to push Mhlongo towards Soul II Soul contemporary-dance-mix-land, or make ...
See more details below
This CD is Not Available through BN.com

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Don Snowden
No matter how scintillating and life-affirming the mbqanga of Mahlathini and the Mahotella Queens was when it hit the international pop scene in the late '80s, the fact remains it was golden oldies music from the '60s in South Africa, the equivalent of Chuck Berry or James Brown, or maybe the Rolling Stones. Urban Zulu an intriguing if flawed attempt to revive and update the Zulu traditional music that spawned mbqanga for the 2000 generation. Producer Will Mowat Soul II Soul also worked with Fernanda Abreu in Brazil, so he's no stranger to this kind of tradition update. But his overall thrust isn't to push Mhlongo towards Soul II Soul contemporary-dance-mix-land, or make some kind of Angelique Kidjo move -- the music leads from roots maskanda tradition, with cascading acoustic guitar lines and buoyant bass throbs at the fore. "Yehlisan'umoya Ma-Afrika" even pulls off an old Mahlathini trick -- the music creates a sensation of being inevitable because the riffs are so organic, it feels like it would be a crime against nature if they fell together any other way. All the songs were written by Mhlongo, acoustic guitarist Mkhalelwa Ngwazi, and bassist Thembani Ngcobo, and either speak out against stopping the violence in the new South Africa, or men exploiting the innocence of young women. Her voice is back in the mix and usually cloaked in massed backing vocals -- Mhlongo is no belter; she's more prone to sudden ululations and almost guttural exclamations that makes you wonder if her update is more of the artist/conceptualist sort she does look the part on the cover sleeve. "Ujuthula" is a bit cluttered, and the "Yise Wabant'a Bami" duet with Lokua Kanza is nothing to write home about, but the real problem is that the sameness of the traditional arrangements wins out over the individual touches. Reggae tinges flavor "Yapheli'mali Yami," "We Baba Omncane" sets choppy bass counter-rhythms against a guitar/concertina combo lilt, and unusual backing harmonies distinguish "Uganga Nge Ngane" and "Zithin'izizwe." The traditional "Oxamu" closes out with Mhlongo singing alone using almost Xhosa-like tongue clicks. "Ngadlalwa Yindoda" incorporates the bass solo from the Staples' "I'll Take You There," and what's notable about Urban Zulu, strangely enough, is how familiar this music all sounds, rather than providing any sense of "here's something new and different from South Africa." There's not a trace of kwaito, the electronic hip-hop/house sound that rules the townships, and you almost wonder if the traditional emphasis here is playing more to the international scene than for consumers back home. But even if Urban Zulu doesn't really merit the high critical praise it received, it's a promising debut, and Mhlongo is an artist to keep an ear out for in the future.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • Release Date: 2/22/2000
  • Label: Meltdown [B&W Music]
  • UPC: 617936211822
  • Catalog Number: 2118

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Busi Mhlongo Primary Artist, Primary Artist, Primary Artist
Will Mowat Keyboards
Hilaire Penda Bass
Sydney Thiam Percussion
Brice Wassy Drums
Simpiwe Matole Marimbas
Lokua Kanza Acoustic Guitar, Vocals, Background Vocals
Moussa Kanoute Kora
Noël Ekwabi Bass
Mabi Thobejane Bongos, Vocals, Voices
Sazi Dlamini Background Vocals
Jacques Djeyim Guitar
Mphendukelwa Mkhize Concertina
Technical Credits
Chris Lewis Engineer
Will Mowat Programming, Producer, Liner Notes
Nick Robbins Mastering
Arabella Rodriguez Engineer
Brice Wassy Concept, Drum Editing
Zena Edwards Poetry, Poetry Reading
Felicia Nkomo Sleeve Notes
Busi Mholongo Arranger
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    5 stars

    i want to know abt busi mhlongo .her song of worldcup2003.i realy likoed it plz tel me from where i get

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews