ALBUM REVIEW: Various Artists - Bhodho Size 3 (2008)

Tony G has been around for a good 6 years in the music industry having started out in 2003 producing the hit single Bata Musoro featuring his alter ego DJ Tula. Over the years the man has produced and released 4 compilation albums starting with Picatto Era (2004) which had the smash hit ChiDanger by Nasty Trixx. 2008 has been a year of wonders for Baseline artists with 11 songs in the Top 100 on the PowerFM charts.

Bhodho Size 3, as the title suggests, is the third instalment of the Bhodho compilations. This one opens up with the Souls of Africa collective who had the immensely popular album Zvepabhodho 4 years ago containing the well known song Madam Chamunoda. Their song on this compilation, Lolita, tackles the issue of being taken for a ride concerning matters of love. In this case the girls name is Lolita and she left some bloke feeling worthless. This song is just brilliant and my favourite part is when the beat changes from a kizomba sound and the tempo is increased into a sizzling rhumba that had me rewinding the song over and over again. The most promising group (in my humble opinion) in Zimbabwe right now, Unique, is also featured with the song Mubhedha. I first heard this song last year and it simply got better once i got my hands on a full length copy. It reminds me of Dino's hit Jatropha as it is also about a woman feeling secluded in a marriage being denied the full (sexual) benefits she thought she would have. Given the prevalence of this topic in recent songs maybe its about time Zim guys start worrying in case the women get fed up for good (lol). The track adopts a near traditional contemporary and Urban Grooves fusion like that of Ndichakuudza Sei by MaFriq. Paunondinyerekedza by seasoned vet Gudchild (of the Fadzai and She Loves Me fame) is a big hit in Zimbabwe 27th spot on the end of year countdown. It typifies the rhumba sound that has made Tony G the star producer he is today.

One of the best Ndebele rappers, Akili, marks his territory in the industry with a heart stopping effort on Tsotsi. This is the kind of feel good song for the ladies expressed by lyricism at its highest pedigree. The beat is more kwaito than anything and the execution of the song is good with the man throwing in all sorts of witty rhymes like 'Wonke cherry size Kilimanjaro zwakala amaBig sisters with hipsters...' The brother and sister duo from Victoria Falls, PO'Zee & Skhu live up to their reputation on the massive Eta Hola which is a party track that cannot be overlooked. I can see Bulawayo getting down to this one. I was impressed by the track Shingirira done by Brian Ngwenya (especially since i have never heard of him before its god to know that new artists are making good music). He sings about a girl who drives him crazy called Chipo who he intends to ask out and state love for until she accepts him. The style here is a mixture of Urban Grooves, reggae and contemporary music with some neatly done vocals. Pamza's Hayi My Lovie was another refreshing listen and it is great to hear more ladies coming up in the industry. She has a strong voice that she uses very well on the particular kwaito sounding track (no guess that its a love song given the title).

Other tracks that will be set to do well are Gud Simbi by dancehall star Cojack, the house feel on Wherever U Go by Tess(this one reminds me of Where I wanna Be by Mina Nawe and Destiny by Malaika) and the smooth Without U by ex Romeo front man Yoko T. This compilation proves the versatility of the artists at Baseline Records (and the producer too) with genres ranging from Urban Contemporary to Kwaito. It is evident that this team is 4 compilation albums into the business, they do it well. This is definitely not your typical Urban Grooves album as it is not that predictable but something a little more exciting and refreshing with a blend of youth and experience. There is something in there for almost every ear. This is recommended for those who like Urban Contemporary, Rhumba, House and Kwaito.

Cover Art - 4/10
Music - 7/10
Technical Sound - 7/10
'I Like Factor' - 6/10