ALBUM REVIEW: Audius Mtawarira - Day Like This (2007)
Audius is one of the most celebrated Zimbabwean artists and producers of his generation. Besides being a huge success within his own country, internationally he is a recognised songwriter and producer with award winning success for a number of artists including Australia's Delta Goodrem and more recently Australian Idol winner Jessica Mauboy. His smooth ballads have won him many a fan in Zimbabwe having released 4 albums to date.
The man has been back on the scene with the album 'Day like This' released earlier in the year. Audius maintains his formula throughout his albums with predominantly English lyrics and 1 or 2 Shona songs to complete the projects. A point to note is that every song Audius has sung in Shona became a chart topper in Zimbabwe. This offering opens up with What If featuring Sean Ray and it largely defines the sound you will hear throughout the album. It is a smooth yet bouncy RnB tune about 2 people falling in love with each other while involved with other partners. The production is A grade and would compete on any international bar. You can tell that the sound is heavily American influenced like we have known Audius' music to be over the years. The foxy Tegan Rogers features on Limelight Living and thet title track Day Like This with her sweet vocals. The latter has a video which has done well shot on the Great Barrier Reef of Australia. The song is beautiful and the duet with Tegan is all about an undeniable musical chemistry. The song is about relationship problems which urges couples not to just give up on love when the days are not so good because such days will come and go in relationships.
Audius' style is comparable to the RnB greats like Joe Thomas, Brian McKnight, Silk, and Boyz II Men with a modern twist. One In A Million is one of the songs of the album and will touch many hearts especially the ladies. As the title suggests it compares the lady in Audius' life to the rest who simply dont match up. I cannot help but wonder if Audius was going through a rough patch with someone close to his heart because a lot of songs are about troubles in relationships or love gone wrong. Maybe it is a coincidence, only he knows. The Problem featuring Sean Ray reminds me of songs like So Sick and Let Me love U with the mellow beat and powerful lyrics. I liked the heavily acoustic J's Letter, the beat was solid and very catchy and has 'RnB hit' written all over it given a chance. The same goes for Bruises which is a very sad song that touches on the very sensitive issue of domestic violence. From a Zimbabwean perspective my song of the album is Muchandiona which is a duet with Angela who does a brilliant job. This lovely song is already doing well on the airwaves and is about a child who is telling their parents that they will make it despite who might not have faith in them. It will definitely strike a chord with many Zimbabweans because success is an everyday topic and a successful child is always the pride of their parents.
Day Like This is a winner and puts Audius well ahead of the competition. It is an album that gives RnB the much needed push after a quiet year without too many great albums out there. The man surely knows how to make great music and it is no wonder why he is the current super producer in Australia. For those who love Audius this album does not disappoint at all and for those wanting to try something new this is one of Zimbabwe's finest at his very best.
Get the album @ http://www.inertia-music.com/catalogue/48618/Audius/Day_Like_This/
Cover Art - 8/10 (very professionally done)
Music - 7/10
Mixing & Mastering - 7/10
'I Like Factor' - 6/10
Day Like This featuring Tegan Rogers