ALBUM REVIEW: Madiz - Rhumba Plus (2007)

Madiz rose to prominence through his work on other people's songs other than his own in the initial stages of his career which started around 2003. For those who do not know, Madiz is the man behind the popular hooks by fellow Gweru artist Nasty Trixx from his debut album Kupinda Newe. He has also featured on Maskiri's track Ngaakoreswe as well as Diana Samkange's Chingave Chii from the compilation Bhodho Size one. Before releasing his smash hit single Amina featuring Abisha Makombe in 2006, Madiz was part of the Baseline Records collective, Souls of Africa who had the popular song Madam Chamunoda.

Rhumba Plus is the exciting debut album by Madiz produced by legendary Gweru producer, Tony G. It has undoubtedly put Madiz on the elite list of some of Zimbabwe's best Urban Groovers. The album opens up with the exciting Kazevezeve featuring Abisha Makombe which adopts a kizomba zouk type beat but with a lovely Zimbabwean twist and it changes mid way not once but twice. Basically it is 3 different beats for one song! The track is about kazevezeve kemwoyo waMadiz (the whisper of his heart). This is one of the 3 songs from this album that made it into the Top 100 of 2008 charts on Power FM.The only part i did not like about this song was the fact that towards the end when it switches to the rhumba beat he uses the lyrics he used on Ndanakirwa and Amina. I would have loved to hear something a bit different, maybe more creative. I still sing along to the song every time i play it but amana tipewiwo maSerious!

Vhenenziya is a dance tune that deserves a chance on the airwaves because i am very sure it will cause headaches wherever it is played. What i like about the production by Tony G is that he makes his music very unique and does not try to do what other people do. This particular track is about finding the love of your life in bed with someone other than yourself. Considering the content, the song is rather enjoyable! That afrohouse feel definitely has me dancing away in no time. Throughout the album Madiz experiements with different tempos which makes him use his voice in unpredictable ways. It is without doubt that he is blessed with a very good voice. He shows this on the song Ndafarira which is a good love song. Ndanakirwa is possibly the most popular song from this album which is a rhumba piece that has been responsible for many sweaty bodies on dancefloors around the country and abroad. It is the kind of song that makes you realise that Urban Grooves has evolved from the typical computer generated music that was resented at first, into a much more exciting genre.

All in all this album is a great listen. Concerning the lows i mentioned before, Ndanakirwa also has a remix version which was ok though i would have preferred a completely new song altogether. Rhumba Plus also contains the other hit song Murume Wangu as well as the ever so popular Amina. I think for a debut album Madiz has done a good job and one can only wait until the next album to hear what else he has to offer. Go and get a copy of this one especially if you like Urban Grooves, Afro House, Zouk or Rhumba because it is all slotted in there.

Cover Art - 6/10
Music - 8/10
Mixing & Mastering - 7/10
'I Like Factor' - 6.5/10

Kazevezeve