One of the most successful Urban Grooves artists of all time is back with a sizzling album in 2008 after the widely popular Ndofefeterwa. Sanii Makhalima needs no introduction at all following the footsteps of older brother Delani with a very colourful musical career of his own. In recent years we have witnessed his dynamic touch as a producer, sound engineer, song-writer, instrumentalist and singer.
Acoustic is Sanii Makhalima's third album which he mostly produced himself. The title of the album is influenced by the dominance of the acoustic guitar in most of the songs, in a way as a signature of the whole project. This project is a testimony of Sanii's amazing talent both as an artist and producer. Sweet Lady featuring Leonard Mapfumo opens up this piece and it is a song which will go far. With lyrics like 'Maziso ake anopenya senyeredzi' ladies will simply drop to their knees with love after giving this song a listen! Leonard's verse was one of the best he has ever written and he adds weight to this collaboration. Iwewe is a very beautiful song and Sanii picks up from where he left off on Ndofefeterwa. This song is enough for me to call him the king of ballads when it comes to Zimbabwean R'n'B . This does come with stiff competition from artists like Taku Paradza and Alexio Kawara.
One of my favourite cuts is Ngiyakuthanda, it is heart stopping and the rich Ndebele lyrics are mind-blowing. Handimbokusiya has a lovely piano and this song can make your lady cry once the lyrics sink in. I think the great thing about the music on this album is it is not far fetched or too experimental. Sanii has kept his formula and has improved on the quality of his production together with his vocal delivery. It is working well for him. For love songs Sanii is definitely the go-to man. I was surprised by 12 Minute Prayer which portrays Sanii in a very very different light as he talked to 'The Man upstairs'. He asks for forgiveness for all his sins and actually mentions a bit of what he has experienced. It is touching. Even though i have heard Pauri Ndaperera for a while now it still sounded fresh and it's a great inclusion to the album.
I think this is one of the finest productions i have heard out of Zimbabwe. This album can compete internationally by all standards and i would love to see one of Sanii's videos make it on Channel O to open doors for him. For the level of talent he possesses we have a lot more coming our way. I was surprised by the inclusion of Vulela & Usadaro which helped him rise to fame. I love these songs but comparing the quality of his new songs and these, unfortunately they don't quite match up. I do understand that he most likely did it for fans who might have missed these earlier hits. Maybe remixes would have been better, at least that is my opinion. All said and done, Acoustic is a beautiful album, possibly Sanii's best release yet.
Cover Art - 8/10 (Loving it)
Music - 8/10
Mixing & Mastering - 7/10
'I Like' Factor - 7/10