ALBUM REVIEW: Chamhembe Revolution - Take 5ive & Various Artists (2008)

The mention of the word 'chamhembe' is associated with Zimbabwe's most dominant crop of Urban Groove artists in the past 5 years. Most of the artists have moved on to other recording studios but still strongly associate with the name itself. Chamhembe Revolution is the third compilation out of That Squad Studios a.k.a Chamhembe.

The 'revolution' is all about reinventing Chamhembe without the Roki's, the ExQue's, the Leonard Mapfumo's and so on. The album intro is a recap of some of Chamhembe's most popular offerings like Waenda by Tererai Mugwadi, Nyeredzi by Taurai, Mazirudo by ExQue featuring Adonis and Wakaenda by Ngonie Kambarami to mention a few. Take it as the explanation that Chamhembe is a new crew altogether. The production combo of Take 5ive and TBA is also done and dusted so Take 5ive is soley responsible for this project. The opening track is Baby Don't Go by Kevie which is a smooth RnB ballad about a man who wronged a girl and is asking her to stay. The song is already very popular with a video to the remix featuring The Untouchables produced by Nqo a.k.a Encore. It can be easily mistaken for an American RnB song by Neyo. It's quite a good track.

My song of the album is Nhasi KuneParty by Alexio featuring producer Take 5ive which is a great party song where Alexio gives us his smooth vocals on a bouncy beat. I thought it would be a bit out of Alexio's depth considering that it is more of a dancehall beat but he did well to still maintain his style that many have grown to love. I also liked Hondo and Zvinhu 10 by Stunner. Stunner is definitely one of the best Urban rappers around and his style and wittiness remain mostly unmatched by anyone in the genre. Zvinhu 10 is about the 10 things a certain girl does for Stunner that make him love her. The skits on the album are not as funny as i expected and that's no surprise seeing that Inspectah Fakasimbi (Carlos the Entertainer) is no longer part of the crew. One track that is set to do very well is Inumber Yami by DJ Fizo which is a great kwaito/house track. Nothing much to the song in terms of lyrics but it's great for the dancefloor and parties.

I like the diverse genres shown by the artists and they are testimony to Take 5ive's production prowess. Look out for the track Mangwana by Kevie, i hear its doing very well on the airwaves. This album is by far nowhere near the Chamhembe of old and i dont believe it will make much of an impact like Chamhembe Volume 1 and Chamhembe Plus. There are no real exceptional tracks but the plus is most are definitely listenable. I think Take 5ive is trying a new formula and should maybe try to recreate the success of the older projects. I was disappointed to say the least because i expected more.

Music - 6/10
Mixing & Mastering - 6/10
'I Like' factor - 5/10

Kevie featuring The Untouchables - Baby Don't Go