As more artists saturate the market with their offerings still only the best stand to shine especially in the gospel circuit with so many household names. I hear Carole Nyakudya has been doing music for over 10 years now only pursuing it professionally only in the last year. This Is Now is her debut offering that is set to put her on the map with no limits to what she can do.
This album has 10 tracks and is a very interesting mix of genres offering almost everything for everyone. Productions are done by man of the moment MacDonald 'Macdee' Chidavaenzi who is behind most hits currently doing well on the airwaves in Zimbabwe. The album content is mainly sung in English, Shona and Ndebele making it very appealing for most Zimbabweans. The title track, This Is Now, is a crossover song about our loved ones and how at times we take them for granted only to realise when we miss them. It reminds me of Zimbabwean Gospel group Authentik with it's pop appeal and danceable beat. It has become a huge hit receiving some good airplay. The song that put Carole on the map is He Reigns which has a lovely video. Having debuted on the gospel shows on TV it has pushed the boundary further to radio becoming one of the most requested songs on the airwaves.
The sweet piano on You Are God is soothing to say the least and Carole asks God to strengthen her faith because she believes in Him beyond anything else. It has an unmistakable touch of finesse and focuses more on the vocal ability rather than the music in the background. Prayer for Zimbabwe is a gem and highlights her passion for our country. The song has been well-received by people from all walks of life. For my favourite of the lot is a tie between Musha Wangu where she switches between all 3 languages and Glory featuring Macdee & Extra Large. The latter was a very surprising combination between Urban Grooves and Gospel which i did not expect but loved nonetheless. That is definitely one song to watch out for and is set to do great things on the charts.
I would still like to see different producers on her next projects to bring out different sides to her music. Lyrically, her maturity, versatility and none-reliance on old church hymns is a winner. All in all i loved this album and i am happy to say it does not 'typify' gospel music like others. It is different, refreshing and honest. Carole has a great voice and will be a favourite among the younger church goers under 35. For her first album she set a very high standard for herself. Great work!
Cover Art - 8/10 (nice!)
Music - 7/10
Mixing & Mastering - 7/10
'I Like Factor' - 7/10