Zulu & acapella songs great...instrumentals a snorefest!
jovaldo | 05/20/2000
(2 out of 5 stars)
"When I heard that LBM was doing an album with instrumental backing...I didn't quite know what to think. This fantastic group is world-renowned for the symphony they can create with their voices, so why go instrumental? I do, however, encourage musical exploration...so I figured I'd give it a try. What a mistake this album was! Besides 4 or 5 songs (including "Yitho Umlilo Ovuthayo," "Sohlabelelu Hosana," & "Jesus Is My Leader") this album is total bore. Hearing this fantastically talented group do Bob Dylan, Curtis Mayfield, & Billy Joel covers backed by pedestrian instrumental arrangements is extremely disappointing. If you want to explore the magical experience of South African zulu singers, then get another one of their albums...try the Greatest Hits, or just about anything else but this one.I love LBM, but this album is just a disappointment (especially after seeing them in concert!) Spend your money elsewhere!"
Different from what I expected
Kevin L. Nenstiel | Kearney, Nebraska | 02/11/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is, of course, Ladysmith Black Mambazo's first album with instrumental backing, unless you count the harmonizing they did on _Graceland._ Which I don't, since it was never their song or album. Still, the effect is transforming -- it takes the responsibility of maintaining musical continuity from the basses, who are plentiful in number, and places it on the instruments, allowing the voices to focus exclusively on the melody. For sheer inventiveness while not straying from the origins, their rendition of "River of Dreams" simply can't be beat. My girlfriend thinks it's better than the original, and I really can't bring myself to disagree."