This is a Womanby 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.