ALBUM REVIEW: Sniper Storm - The Voice (2009)

Sniper Storm is one of Zimbabwean dancehalls best acts and he has proved it time and again from the days of Gede Mwana through to the hit songs Kubhinya and One Room. Of late, the man had been doing mostly shows between his debut album, Ndakabata Mic 2009 and now. Many thought the man was out of the business but he is back with a brand new album, The Voice.

This piece opens up with Joy where Sniper proclaims that 'tauya kuzofara' (we have come to have a good time). It is an uptempo track that will get you dancing in no time. He gives his respect to other artists like King Labash and Winky D who many consider his rivals (im sure that squashes any beef rumours). The Buju Banton (Boom Bye Bye) inspired Soddom hit me from nowhere. The song is controversial considering the subject; gays and lesbians. He sings that 'vakadzi pavarume ndozvatinoda' (we want women to be with men). You have to hear this song for yourself. The truth is it is a touchy subject and the song will definitely be more appreciated in Zimbabwe. Having said his lyrics are quite funny though. As soon as Soddom was done, Chirungu just gave me a low blow yet again. At first when i listened to the track i thought, is this guy serious? Then i listened CAREFULLY.

Ini handidadi nechirungu
Handiite zvechirungu
Handifarire chirungu nokuti handisi murungu
Chikafu chechirungu
Tsika dzechirungu
Mwari wechirungu
Manamatiro echirungu
Handisi kuti ini ndakamaka varungu
Handivenge murungu kana kushora chirungu
Chandingatoda pamwe mukadzi wechirungu
Kudanana nemurungu zvekusvotesa varungu

Translated:
I do not take pride in westernised culture
I do not do western things
I do not like the western culture because i am not a white man
I do not like the white man's food
Nor his culture
I do not like the white man's god
Or his ways of religion
I am not saying i dislike white people
I do not hate whites or their culture
I would not mind dating a white woman
To be in love with her just to annoy white people

It's simple, this song can be taken the wrong way yet what he really is saying is that as a black Zimbabwean he finds many things wrong with our society disregarding our own culture to do things that otherwise originated from foreign countries. The man speaks his mind, no holds barred! Well worth a listen.

Madhara Madhara has a video (youtube) done by video guru Enqore. On this song he is saying he is back and some people thought he was dead. Self praise really (enjoyable at that!). Paradise featuring songstress Cindy Raw is a great track and i'm sure it will blaze many a dancehall! Cindy Raw is doing a great job in the industry and besides Plaxedes Wenyika is probably the most consistant lady in Urban Grooves. The collaboration between Diana and Sniper, Ndoda, is definitely a song to watch out for. I think it has the potential to be a big hit and is produced by hot Urban producer Russo. It is a love song where Diana is looking for love and Sniper is telling her how much love he can give. Dhanda Head is a hilarious track about 'not so clever' people who do things that leave you wondering where their common sense lies. Handimude is another track with lyrics that will leave you in stitches;

'Ndiani angade musikana anoshorwa nevamwe?
Anonzi hure, pfambi nevamwe
Pese paari anongozezwa nevanhu
Kutukwa kunyeyiwa kutyiwa
Anehunhu hwechibhanditi
Hapana chake chechokwadi
Anodanana nevamwe 50
Apa ndiwe unoitwa bhambi
Anoita kuti vanhu vakunzwire tsitsi
Kwauri akakosha ingirozi
Apa mumwe achingoti kachoki
Anonzi rubbish, marara, marutsi nevanhu'

Msoja is one of the best tracks this album has to offer. Sniper highlights the fearsome nature of soldiers and the high levels of respect they command wherever they are. He attributes this aspect to factors like the vigorous training they receive hence their potential to injure or even kill if need be. This song will win him many fans i am sure. Handife is the track doing well on the charts at the writing of this review. It is probably on the charts more because of its gospel inclination but does not compare to other songs on this album. It so happens to be a good track regardless just that i would pick at least 5 other songs as the lead single before it.

For 21 tracks, this album is worth every cent you spend on it packed with heat from start to finish. As a sophomore offering it definitely has a very high rating on all fronts. I reckon this album has more hit singles compared to Ndakabata Mic 2009 (taking nothing away from the latter!). I was hoping that his dance song Mai Chisamba which he performs at shows would be on this album but unfortunately he seems to save it only for the live performances. This is one of the best dancehall albums to come out of Zimbabwe and get yourself a copy!

Cover Art - 6/10
Music - 7/10
Technical Sound - 7/10
'I Like' Factor - 7/10