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This is a Woman

This is a Woman

by Dave Durbach / 28.12.2009

Ke Mosadi means “this is a woman” in Sesotho. Now, this shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. I’ve been well aware of this fact for years now. I admit I’ve never paid much notice to KB’s music career, preferring to wear my X-ray specs whenever she pops up on the TV and let my mind wander. Adolescent fantasies aside, though, Ke Mosadi is KB’s fifth album, her first at Gallo. It fits firmly in the middle of catch-all R&B/afropop genres. Sure, being a young female vocalist is not the easiest gig in SA, being up against talent like Simphiwe Dana, Zamajobe, Lira, Thandiswa, etc. Presumably, “Mmamosadi” is trying to work a different angle – more accessible, less intellectual, more commercial, less trendy. And it’s worked for her in the past, with a SAMA or two for her efforts. But at the end of the day, there’s precious little to write home about here. Slick but nondescript, Ke Mosadi is typical afropop with an overdependency on tired Latin sounds, a confusing mix of cheesy house programming and live instrumentation. From an R&B point of view, it’s too slow to dance to, too fast to fool around to. Despite her impressive lungs, KB’s voice here is samey and unemotional. If I try my hardest to take good taste out of the equation, stare long enough at the photos of KB that accompany the album, in time, with repeated listens, four songs in the middle of the album start growing on me. “I call it love” has a cleaner bass-driven sound compared to most of the other tracks on the album, often overproduced with redundant programming. “Tselane” and “Robala” are slower, smoove R&B tunes. The downtempo house of “Ska eta yalo” is catchy in a Café del Mar kind of way (ie. not bad if you’re not paying any attention). It goes downhill from there, however. “Call on me” contains some mildly saucy lyrics alluding to late night booty calls, though somehow I doubt KB is that kinda girl (still, if I had her number…). “Days of Gemini” is meant to be some kind of single at the moment, but the corny spoken intro kills it from the start. How does a woman so hot make music so cold? There’s no lack of talent here, just a lack of imagination.

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RESPONSES (6)
  1. Rethabile says:

    It means “I’m a woman” in this particular case, doesn’t it?

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  2. the yawn says:

    Would your average intelligent mahala reader give a shit about nonsense such as this? There are thousands of eye-candy r&b perfomers the world over and they all make “music” that sounds very much the same. This we know already – why not give valuable coverage to more interesting local artists?

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  3. gender mender says:

    There’s a disturbing increase of a male perv agenda creeping into mahala’s articles in recent weeks. From butt-naked Suicide Girls who endorse the likes of Paris Hilton to thoroughly ordinary female r&b albums that still get a review because the singer is attractive – it’s all rather cheap and nasty when you scratch beneath the surface and it certainly jars with many of the more principled debates that find their way onto this site. In a sea of local media that sways relentlessly to the tune of debauched consumerism (another topic tackled recently on this site), how does mahala want to set itself apart (if at all?) and what does that mean in terms of the subjects that it covers and the angles that it will entertain (an thereby to some degree also endorse) from its writers? Do you want to be all things to everyone while still hoping that your more impassioned opinion pieces will find sympathy amongst a core of principled and enlightened readers? Do you want to be as popular as possible (to keep and expand that Nike sponsorship) and still be taken seriously on the important stuff, and is that honestly a realistic expectation?

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  4. The Realist! says:

    Dave! Dave! It is clear from this trashy post that you have absolutly no taste in good, home-brewed sounds. KB is a powerful diva who has overhauled her status tenfold in the industry. Year after year she keeps on proving that she is the queen of re-invention and fusion! I think your lack of understanding of the album clouds your judgement. Im not convinced you have analysed it in depth, but rather as shallow as you are. Do get ur facts straight! Ur article has dreadful errors that need attention! Fast!

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  5. Tshepang says:

    Dave, YOU HAVE NO TASTE IN MUSIC LOL. KB is one of South Africa’s best singing sensations. If u had bothered to do your job properly you’d know that there aren’t many SA artists (if any) who have had as much success as she has had, not only has she won a SAMA award for all her albums, she is more than just a singer. SO PLEASE GET A BLOODY LIFE AND APPRECIATE SA MUSIC. ITS PPL LIKE U THAT ARE KILLING OUR ARTISTS, VOETSEK MAAN

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  6. dydo says:

    yes im your big fan you know, btu we never meet, tel me what mass i do , coz im daying to meet you, i wach scandal every day coz of you KB, so tel me what to do, please, im from congo DRC & im living in turfontein

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