ALBUM REVIEW: Abisha Makombe - Bhomba (2008)
I know the name Abisha Makombe might not immediately ring a bell especially for a lot of people in the diaspora who left Zimbabwe a while ago. That being said be assured that the face of Urban Grooves (though he calls his music Chonde music) is changing. It's great to see new names coming up. Abisha is no stranger to success as he was part of the group Romeo which gave you the big hit, Consider My Feelings. A few years down the line and this man is now a solo artist enjoying being at the top of the music industry.
Bhomba is the debut album by Abisha Makombe which was produced by producer of the moment Anthony Mukanga a.k.a Tony G. This album is 8 tracks deep and boasts of the massively popular Ndire Ndire. From my conversations with Tony G he told me that the song was recorded last for the album and none of them expected it to be a hit. The song recently became popular in the diaspora after spending much of 2008 being the party song of choice with an infectious house sound that can lift you from a bad mood. Ndire Ndire refers to a magic brew which can get you to dizzy heights. In the song Abisha describes how he feels so invincible that he will be fishing for mermaids (kuredza njuzu) and that this is a party to remember that has him on unmatched highs. My pick for song of the year for 2008 and in the diaspora for 2009. Check out the video at the bottom of this post!
Hondo Yemoyo is the second single from the album and its another very good song. This one is about that first love and the pains of being with someone you do not love while spending your time thinking about someone else. It tackles the harsh reality of loveless marriages that seem to occur more often than necessary. The song starts off with a mellow beat which is sad in its own right and really made me think about what he was singing about. Halfway through the song it becomes an up tempo rhumba track. I really would have preferred this one to stay on the sad, mellow beat but its still a good song regardless. Mumwe Wangu is similar to Hondo Yemoyo in focusing on abused love. One partner is lost on the others actions because they seem to only be in love when there is money. Abisha is telling us how a lot of people started with nothing en route to becoming successful and that love should be able to endure poverty. This is definitely one of the best tracks on the album.
I really like Abisha Makombe's originality. His music is different, his voice is different, his singing is different. Throughout the whole album he shows maturity lyrically and offers a different view point from most artists of the Urban Grooves generation. I don't know if he will ever be able to eclipse the success of Ndire Ndire which i believe is set to become a continental and international hit with the right marketing strategies. If you love Rhumba, Zouk, House and Urban Grooves you could find yourself falling in love with this album. Highly recommended!
Music - 8/10
Technical Sound - 7/10
'I Like' Factor - 7/10