ALBUM REVIEW: Spice It Up (2006) - Tia

Now this album was so vigorously marketed before release it must have hit platinum by that alone. I was really looking forward to this project especially after the success of ‘Boy U Got To Know’, after all it seemed like everyone was talking about it.

As I expected Spice It Up is full of RnB flavour and is mostly produced by Sipho 'TBA The Playboy' (ex-Chamhembe, current Chigutiro producer). The man sure knows his stuff and having said that I still believe his combination with Take 5ive of Chamhembe was a cut above the rest which saw Chamhembe become Zimbabwe’s default Urban Grooves crew. After they parted ways I don't think one of them could really rediscover that touch that once made them so popular but don't let that be an excuse to underestimate them because vanogonesesa.

The title track is bouncy and I liked the instrumental which was very well done with great instrumental clarity. Unfortunately Tia’s voice leaves a lot to be desired. The first thing my other half said when she heard the song was ‘Uri kunzwa discord iro?’ and I had a good laugh. I still like the song though! ‘Come A Lil Closer’ has a very colourful video (available on Youtube), the song is ok and not really outstanding. I reckon it will be a great song for high school disco slow jam sessions. The lyrics wouldn’t really appeal to the 21+ age group, they are just shallow. This applies to just about the whole album, there is no real maturity to the content. Lyric rake harina punch.

I was not really surprised by the inclusion of ‘Boy U Got To Know’ since it has been doing rounds on Channel O and has become somewhat popular in Southern Africa. Props to W.O.Fman Fortune Mparutsa for the production on the song, very well done. What’s with artists and putting original versions, remixes and remixes of remixes on one project? If it’s a 12 track album with 5 versions of one song I just find that a rip off. The song has 4 versions.Munodarireiko nhai as’kana? I won’t even mention the luke warm attempt at doing a Shona version. Most of Tia’s vocals on the songs had the autotune/vocoder effect that T-Pain has popularized and for me it sounded more of an attempt to disguise the sometimes dodgy vocals when she ‘attemped’ high notes. This is proof that making it in the music industry is not directly proportional to talent. She tries though.

All in all, this album is all hype with no action. It will sit in my library ,sure, but probably won’t see my media player for a few months. You will probably like this if you are into the likes of Cassie and so on without being bothered by vocal ability. Good attempt for someone who probably lacks the natural talent compared to other females in the industry.

Cover Art - 7/10 (very nice!)
Music – 5/10
Mixing & Mastering – 6/10
‘I Like Factor’ – 4/10

Come A Lil Closer