Cee Jay is back on the radar in 2008 after the success of his previous offering Desperate Measures. I can confirm that this time around, it is Cee Jay like you never heard before. Seriously. One can almost tell that his focus was really Zimbabwens at large unlike the last CD which was probably appreciated far more by African Americans and the younger Zim generations.
First up the album started off well with the title track, One Ariega. It is more like an intro into Cee Jay's world and it definitely managed to impress me especially as the first song. Turn Around was a surprise jam for me especially because the particular riddim was one i didn't like much. The great part was Cee Jay still managed to do his singing and rapping well on the song The song African Party made me realise that Zim/Kenya collabos can work. What i didn't really like was the instrumental which i felt could have sounded a lot more '2008' coz it sounded like it was produced around the late 90s. This turned out as the downside of the album, some instrumentals could have greatly improved. Nice to hear the girl rap tho! The shortage of female African rappers hurts me to the core. We need more ladies stepping up.
The more i listened the more i appreciated that Cee Jay has indeed improved greatly. Murikurasika Papi sounded far much better, given the initial version i heard a few months ago. Talk about a sing along and Ngaarohwe is a song many will probably love. The CD boasts of some really touching lyrics embracing relevant issues for example on the Lucky Dube inspired 'Tell Me Why'. Given this fact, it sort of puts Cee Jay in a good spot against other artists within this genre where generally for most artists their content leaves a lot to be desired. The mature content really takes centre stage on the last 3 songs of the album which were all recorded live and have some beautiful guitar playing in the background. Of course among these 3 is my song of the album, 'Ziyaspora' which is a masterpiece! I really connected deeply with this song and CeeJay deserves to give himself a pat on the back for a well written and well sung tune. Kinda reminds me of Tuku and Steve Makoni.
This 16 track album is worth a listen if you like Urban Grooves. Overall this was a decent offering and an amazing effort from Cee Jay. Sample the CD below
Get it @ http://www.rudeboy-records.com/
Cover Art - 7/10 (i'm feeling the simplicity, sometimes it works!)
Music - 6/10 (many Zimbabweans will relate to it easily)
Mixing and Mastering - 6/10 (a good effort here, better leveling needed)
'I Like Factor' - 7/10