Sunday, 9 December 2012

MACHESO'S LATEST ALBUM - CAN DO BETTER

WHEN looking at Alick Macheso’s latest release, “Kwatakabva Mitunhu (Kure Kwekure)”, there are two things that should matter — is there growth and what value does the album give to his career.
It would also be of great help to look at the evolving sungura genre that has seen various artistes bringing in and borrowing even discarding the basic tenets of the beat.
Diehard fans, just like church-goers and political supporters, will not care much about the two facts stated above.
This is Macheso’s ninth album in a career spanning 11 years. Considering this, a seasoned musician such as Macheso should show a lot of maturity in both lyrical content and instrumentals.
It’s needless to say that Macheso has established himself and his music through the dominating bassline that carries the day in almost every one of his songs.
It should also be noted that in the history of sungura, Macheso pushed forward the bassline unlike any other sungura artiste.
He has also established the loud and hard vocals which compete just as much with the heavy beat dominated by the bass guitar.
It is through this that Macheso created his own distinct beat which has also been admired and emulated by many especially every sungura start-up artiste.
Of late and with his last three albums, Macheso has slowly gone back into history to take one or two distinct features to spice up his music.
This is very evident on his latest album especially track six, Cynthia, where the beat is laid back reminiscent of the 70s when chachacha was the in-thing.
Although chachacha is considered the cradle of rhumba music, it died slowly when Congolese rhumba artistes took up new features thereby changing the beat from the slow absorbing beat to a fast-paced one.
The big bass which offered the beat its stead and placid atmosphere was replaced by a fast hard thumping bass guitar that had the courage to even lead the lead guitar.
In chachacha, the big bass guitar follows but in sungura especially Macheso’s beat, the bass guitar can weave and wind around other guitar rhythms thereby creating a different beat altogether.
This is what Macheso brings in in Cynthia. It’s a laid-back song that does not really fit into his Borrowdale dance style. In its hey days, chachacha went along with a dance known as sinjonjo.
That, too, is what he offers in Samasimba where the bass follows closely behind all the other instruments. One would refer to this as kanindo, the rhumba sub-genre that took over from chachacha music.
Unlike on “Cynthia”, “Samasimba” has some pace and the beat is tighter. But “Cynthia” and “Macharangwanda” share the same laid-back trait in the first part before the bridges that get us back to typical Macheso.
Macheso first broke the sungura monotony with his 2005 album, “Ndezvashe-eh” when he brought in the chachacha improvisations.
Otherwise other tracks — “Zvipo”, “Kutsvaga Chiremba” and “Chirimumaoko” — are just but typical Macheso and Orchestra Mberikwazvo.
The second factor that of lyrics is what should make any artiste stand up tall and different from others as well himself as in his past works.
During the late John Chibadura’s time, some people said it appeared as if the musician had a failed relationship every week because most of his songs were about heartbreaks and divorces or fights with and against in-laws.
It should also be noted that on this album, Macheso has not risen above himself.
Although love makes the world go round, most musicians fail to come up with meaningful and lasting lyrics. In most cases, it becomes one song done in many slight ways.
“Cynthia” and “Macharangwanda”, once again, prod the love path. In both songs, one partner leaves.
In “Cynthia” the girl leaves for studies abroad while in “Macharangwanda”, a man abandons his pregnant girlfriend.
So what is knew here apart from the slogan in “Cynthia”: “pano paita chibhora chakabatana kunge chibhodhoro chisingavhinze . . .?”
“Zvipo (talents)”, “Kutsvaga Chiremba (success through hard work)” and “Samasimba (divine intervention)” all carry similar themes and/or lines to previous songs.
The lyrical divide between “Samasimba” and “Mwari weNyasha” is small and that too can be said about “Amai vaRubhi” and “Monalisa”.
This lyrical bankruptcy is evident in his other previous songs — “Madhawu”, “Petunia”, “Teererai”, “Shedia”, “Kunyarara Zvavo” and “Amakebhoyi”.
Of course, Macheso diehard fans will find this latest exactly as they found and enjoyed his previous works for their rich instrumentals regardless of the lyrical bankruptcy.
Wonder Guchu is former arts and entertainment editor as well as deputy news editor of The Herald. He is currently based in Namibia, where he is founder and deputy editor of a Windhoek business weekly, The Villager newspaper. He is a music blogger, award-winning author and playwright and columnist for the Southern Times.


53 comments:

Good research.Can do better with spellings

One man's meat can be another man's poison. Most people just want to be entertained. Some look for meaning in songs, some like the beat more than the lyrics and some take note of both. Good examples of songs without real meaning but proved popular are bhutsu mutandarikwa, chemutengure, chiri mupoto, samanyemba, ndochi, the list is endless. These days people are taking up anything offered by these branded artists, that's in most cases. That's my opinion.

Mawara, kana iwe usingazive zvinoreva dzimbo kana context yadzo usati hadzireve chinhu. All the songs that you have listed above, perhaps except for "Ndochi," are deeply steeped in Zimbabwean cultures and history. Bvunza vazivi.

Uri right Mhofu saka ndati ndoomaonero anguwo pamwe ndapotsa hangu pamenzaniso asi i think I had a point like one man's meat can be another man's poison.

macheso hapana zvaakaita guys its not personal but the guy is both lyrically & instrumentally bankrupt. there is no flowing in his songs unoshaya kuti ndizvo zvaaiita here pa3yrs. Sugar Sugar ari nani.

Well written piece. I agree that macheso has not risen above himself with his latest offering. The fact that the opening song is about the feud and advice to band members who deserted him not long ago says a lot about the lyrical bankruptcy. His preoccupation with this theme after a couple of years with no album indicates that the sun may be setting to Cheso Power, if he does not reinvent himself.

Asi Editor abhadharwa here????this is Macheso's worst Album so far!rakadhakwa magitare zvese nema lyrics......zvinotonzwisa tsitsi

Correct @Mawara. One mans' urine is another mans' perfume. Kikiki. Happy Xmas to you.

Musarwadziwe ndapota vaimbi, as artist vanobvumirwa kunyora kane zvekunyepa chete semanyorero awaiita "Zuva randisinga kanganwi" are you a critic, journalist or artist pako ndepapi, munyori tsvaga rimwe basa......

Ini zvangu i just think Macheso akadzinga munhu aimunyorera nziyo, uye aimurongera magitare, nekuti zvimwe ndezvimwe murume uyu anorova magitare zvisina ani akambondirovera muZimbabwe, ne voice racho pakutanga ranga rakanyatsonaka. Hameno kuti zvii zvakaitika pakati apa. Asi zvisinei tinongoterera hedu nekuti ndozvapakurwa

I personally like macharangwanda on Macheso's latest offering but the album is just luke warm ...Sulumani Chimbetu did a better job on his latest offering than Macheso...at least in my opinion..!

One thing for sure i noteis that if you are a Macheso fan, then certainly you will not be dissappointed with his new album but if not then you never were impressed by Macheso . What is this you call lyrical bankrupcy?From your points tackling subjects that have been done before is lyrical bankrupcy.
Let's not forget that music started an eternity ago and the same subjects being sang about today have been done before only today its relevant to the state of the society and the prevalent trends today. That said it is rather myopic for Mr Guchu who is suppose to be an expert to state a point on lyrics. As for the beats, Macheso has been creative and fusing beats from long back with the modern ones to create a new experience, therefore his success in doing so clearly shows his knowledge of instruments.
Mr Guchu i would like you to tell me the musician who is exceptional in today's musical circles, in your book. You will find that not even our Superstar Tuku has anything never done before to offer. It's impossible for any musician to sing a totally new subject considering the number of years people have been singing,so that's a weak point.
My conclusion is Mr Guchu your article is more of opinion than fact as far as your assessment of Macheso's new album goes. As expected you know the history of music. Overally you clearly do not and have never liked Macheso's music.

Thanks. Happy Xmas to you too brother.

ko gochi gochi newe inorevei

yeah.i agree.sampled the album yeaterday but there is no continuity.its like several songs broken up and pieced 2getha.there are several stories in one song that has got nothing to do with each other.for his fans its ok but for others hai.

I have listened to the album countless times already and i have to tell you that this album is right within the standards of Macheso ,so if you do not or have never liked his music then no change here. When i listened to the album the first time as expected i could not understand the theme but as usual with his albums i got to grips with the theme and managed to appreciate the effort. So i do not trust your opinion if you just sampled the album yesterday. This is not the first time such reactions from Macheso albums have come out ,when in the end such were proven otherwise. it all comes down to your taste in music.

gava, you are right, I also got it on Saturday. Chiri Mumaoko and Samasimba have immediately impressed me, I am still to catch up with the rest, looks like Macharangwanda will make the grade. I find Chiri Mumaoko with nice guitar work zvekuti unekuvara nekutamba ukadikitira zvedi but somehow agree to the writer that this album is not better then the ones before.

Kochekera. This is good music Baba Sharon

Gentlemen musazvinetsa neku-compare music yaMacheso nevamwe,,,,its jus lyk football,some are Dembare fans,some Highlanders,some Caps or Chelsea,Man U,Liverpool etc....so the bottom line is dont expect some one's favourite musician to be yr favourite also....or its lyk asking ,which is the most delicious food?....some will tell u kuti iDovi,some Pizza,some Prones,some chicken,some Bhurumango...it all depends with what one lyks...so for Cheso, i cant comment.

i wonder why people comment as if they do the same with their careers.. we should be gratefull that some of our job perfomance are not to be presented to 10million + people to comment. It is the music industry and sometimes location and timing dictates the taste of the music....some music is entertaining uri wega, at home or at work whilst some the vibe is pachaunga...like formaself, rhumba was not something i could play on my own but kuenda kumuchato oro any function yoregedzwa kuridza(very rare) i would not be happy.

You have just hit the nail on the head, if you do not like or never liked Macheso there is no reason that will change. So the best advice is do not comment demeaning point on other people's likes because the discussion will never end as anyone's favourite is the best and each will do and whatever it takes to make that clear..

Lyrical content and meaning:

1)Leonard Dembo
2)Leonard Zhakata
3)Marshall Munhumumwe
4)Tongai Moyo
5)James Chimombe
.
.
.
.
.
99)Alick Macheso
100)Maskiri
101)Stunner!

Cheso idhara guys, come rain come thunder

this is according to wonder Guchu;

Although love makes the world go round, most musicians fail to come up with meaningful and lasting lyrics. In most cases, it becomes one song done in many slight ways.
if you read this you will realize that the critism of Macheso is basically about him singing the same thing in different ways. That means repeating previously tackled subject material, so tell from your list who has not done the same. All have done it so this business of lyrical bancrupcy is applicable to all unfortunately.

ko Mukanya vanoenda papi-Thomas Mapfumo..Gandanga?

Have you listened to Leonard Dembo and Zhakata's songs or you're still sticking with Guchu's Ideas!?

Mkanya vanoimba ngano,asi vanhu vanongopenga navo zvakadaro....mkanya palyrical bankruptcy ndovakadhakwa worse...saka vanoimba gospero vozonzi chii manje,ko system wezhira wangu manje zvatova worse,,,Chipanga wasu how far....so this means muzicians all run out of creativity..kikiki

Ko Simon Chimbetu na System Tazvida??oh na Thomas makion

They fall in the bracket 6-98!.Macheso is competing with the dead!...kikikikiki.Not forgeting Madzibaba..'Senior Lecturer'

Hanzi kune vakaimba bhaibheri rose kubva kuna Genesis kusvika kuna Zvakazarurwa

Warasika pana Chopper apo...Zhakata na Dhewa vana kuna Chopper.........mudhara Chopper ari mu top 2

Pano paita chibhora...great staff extra bass

maZimbo paChibhora...I have noticed something with Macheso's music..its never a love at first hearing music..rather it has a cumulative effect and then one begins to appreciate it.Initially i found the staff not very appealing but im begining to like it and as usual,i bet by Christmas it will be pano paita chibhora all over..thats macheso for u...

Seems hamunyatsoziva Macheso watiri kutaura. Hey we are not saying aridza seGokwe Stars No No No Plz consider songs like Tereerai, Pakutema munda, Monalisa Petunia, kuhwereketa, Zvimiro, Madube, Madhawu, even the most controversial ones like Tafadzwa & Murombatsimba idzi newone hapana zviripo Chigure chakoniwa basa this haalume

Mushamarari ... "Ko nhai vamacheso sei musingaimbi dzimwe nziyo dzenyu nechirungu?" Macheso .... "Ko pandakati 'hoo brother' hamuna kupanzwa here"

i would remove Dehwa and put System panyanga. Zhakata comes first pa lyrics for me

Hazvichina hazvo mhosva Macharangwanda

I do agree wth u Mawara, but I think u've, somehow, missed the bottom line in Guchu's analysis. "WHEN looking at Alick
Macheso’s latest release, “Kwatakabva Mitunhu (Kure Kwekure)”, there are
two things that should matter — is there growth and what value does the
album give to his career." goes the intro.

I share the same sentiments of Guchu & I would like say Macheso's carrier reached it's pick in '03' when he released Zvido Zvenyu Kunyanya, if one is to compare all the 10 albums he has done in his lyf. Vapupuri Pupurai was the nxt album after Zvido Zvenyu Kunyanya & how dd it perfomed?- The "hit" song Teererai was rated fifth on the top 100 songs. His nxt album was Ndezvashe! wth the song Madhuwe whch was rated # 1. It could be bcoz the song was good, but what attracted a lot of fans most, especially on the whole album, was the reintroduction of Zaka Zaka, who is the pioneer member of Orch Mberikwazvo & 4mer Khiama Boys Band member, hence we got the original Orch Mberikwazvo bit on that album. The album Zvinoda Kutendwa played well in the market, but it was bcoz of us his die-hard fans. He actually apologised to his fans of his poor work, but in a more diplomatic way. Macheso blamed piracy, which forced him to alter his songs on the album Zvinoda Kutendwa on the last minute, the fact remains the same, the quality of that album was not that good. We're yet to see how this latest album is going to perform, but my opinion on it is that there's too much spiceing. Over & above, this is what Guchu's trying to bring to our attention & it's up to Cheso to take or leave it. Somebody said "The
Downfall of a big brand like "Macheso" won't just happen overnight but
trust me if he doesn't do better on his next album, I guess this latest
album marks the beginning of the death of Macheso Brand" & I say mark those words.

Fox, I think Guchu is comparing what Macheso has done from his 1st album to the last 1. Whether 1 lyks him / not , the fact remains the same.

Hahahahaha Iwe Koche unenge usinganzwewo iwe. PaXmas ipapo ndiri kufunga kutengera tezvara vangu latest iyoyi coz he lyks museve too much, zvino my big ques is ndingakwanisa here kuteerera iyoyi "zunza mkakaaa" ambuya natezvara vari padivi?

This is just music, for fun, for enjoyement, akati it should show growth and add value to his career ndiani? What value, growth yei; yaacourse here inonzi from degree to masters to PhD? Macheso ndiye adii, why didnt you ask the same about other popular singers?
It takes a lot of hard work and commitment to produce songs, so many singers have gone quiet and cant afford to. the best you can do is to applaude him, if you cant say anything positive just be human enough and leave some space to those who support him

Mr Sporo ,you picked the main focus of the article being "WHEN looking at Alick
Macheso’s latest release, “Kwatakabva Mitunhu (Kure Kwekure)”, there are
two things that should matter — is there growth and what value does the
album give to his career." well the thing here from my interpretation of Guchu's view is that, this new album is not better than his other albums but is in the same category with the rest of them , in other words in terms of his perfomance he overally remains consistently on the same standard as on his previous work. Guchu is pointing out that this album is just the usual Macheso, nothing out of the ordinary to outdo any of his previous works.read this quote from the above article ''
Of course, Macheso diehard fans will find this latest exactly as they found and enjoyed his previous works for their rich instrumentals regardless of the lyrical bankruptcy.''
He even belittled lyrically the songs from his work you claim to be great like Shedia,Madawu, Amai VaRhubi etc ,which basically shows how his bias clouds the who article.He sound like he never acknowledged of Macheso in the first place, so its really hard to pick the objectivity there but easy to pick subjectivity.
It's really interesting that you point out the reasons why his albums after Zvido Zvenyu Kunyanya were popular, you have to appreciate that he rose to stardom and for anyone if you get high up there the only thing that remains to be seen is if you can stay there / go up any further/fall and what basically what Macheso has managed to do is to stay up there by being consistent. If you are a Macheso fan who was not resistant to change since Simbaradzo then you would realize that the new album is good. Many people could not appreciate the chnages in beats he did from Zvido Zvenyu Kunyanya to date, they say his music became to invested in instrument mastery and trickery, but hey i have news for you the world is always changing and for him to have stayed famous this long is because of the changes he did on his beats and themes. if you ask all Macheso fans to name the best album of Macheso you will be surprised of the answers you will get, mine is Ndezvashe-eh ,but not to say Simbaradzo or Zvakanaka Zvakadaro is bad. The death of the Macheso brand is subjective and you see it as its starting but some felt the same when he released Vapupuri Pupurai,but its ages down the line the brand stands, with each album all musicians lose old fans and gain new ones, same here.

There is no fact when it comes to music ,my friend its always subjective, because what you feel about the subject is what you say and there is nothing wrong with that but calling it fact is purely inaccurate. His opinion of Macheso's whole musical career is what he articulates here and because he is a journalist does not make what he is saying fact,because what he is submitting as proof to back what he is saying is basically his personal take on Macheso's music and the criteria to measure the goodness or badness of any piece of music is a subject you can never sale to any one because we all like different things in music. i personally like the heavy guitars in Macheso's music, some like may be his messages,some his voice, it just varies from person to person ,so submitting your opinion and calling it fact is purely myopic.

in short macheso akabura dondo ndo zvimasongs zvekuimba kulive show cant record that kupfuurwa nakapfupi

inotambika "repeated exposure" kana rambai makashinga ange avekutonakidza wani

Wrong.
1. Oliver Tuku
2.Thomas Mapfumo
3.James Chimombe
4. Simon Chimbetu
5.Leonard Zhakata
4.

I personally think this time, Macheso has gone purely Sungura, minus the daring bizzare bass guitar adventures that disproportionately overpowered all the other guitarworks in his past projects. Remember guys, Macheso tended to play his bass guitar as a lead guitar, which to me tended to sound rather strange and experimental. His current project gives due respect to especially the lead guitar, whoever did this guitar is quite a notable instrumentalist. It takes me back to when Zimbabwean Rhumba aka Sungura was still Sungura.

On the contrary, Sulumani failed totally to mantain the steam, even by his own standards. Syllabus dissappoints me completely, it just fails to do it for me. I thought he was cut to be his fathers successor.

Wasiya Pengaudzoke zvakare Ndokudai Mese vane musambo wavo .

ya taura hako!but can they make it into Top 5 umo mune madhara-madhara ayo!

Dont lie yu, Ndezvashe was released in 2007 dont lie to the public i hate you

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