THE much-awaited album Tsoka Dzerwendo by Alick Macheso is now out and there is still debate raging as to whether the sungura maestro has outdone his previous works.
BY ADMIRE JAMU-MLAMBO
Although there has been so much hype in the wake of the album’s release, it may be early days to judge.
The album seems to be enjoying air play on all radio stations. It is a six-track compilation with songs Baba, Kurarama Inyasha, Wandirangaridza, Munyaradzi, Gungwa and Mude Mude.
Some fans have argued that there is nothing to write home about the album although it is arguably better than its predecessor, Kwatakabva Mitunhu.
Two of the songs on the album — Gungwa and Wandirangaridza — are, however, set to be top hits.
“There is no doubt that Tsoka Dzerwendo is a better album than Kwatakabva Mitunhu. Macheso has slightly improved, although on some of the songs there is discord both on guitars and the vocals, especially on the song Munyaradzi,” said one Macheso fan.
He, however, noted that it was an average effort when pitted against Macheso’s earlier works, Magariro, Vakiridzo, Simbaradzo, Zvakanaka Zvakadaro, Zvido Zvenyu Kunyanya, Vapupuri Pupurai and Ndezvashe.
For many of Macheso’s fans, there is a strong possibility that the new offering is not what they had expected, particularly after a four-year drought.
“There are only three good songs – Mude Mude, Gungwa and Wandirangaridza — otherwise there is no expertise introduced. The rest of the songs are just ordinary.
Macheso should really up his game to
match the standard he set on Vapupuri Pupurai,” a Harare kombi driver said.
Macheso may still be paying the price for losing some of his seasoned band members in the mould of Lucky Mumiriki, Obert Gomba and Darlington Chabata who he poached from Chazezesa Challengers soon after the death of Peter Tazvida, Noel Nyazanda whom he recruited from Leonard Zhakata’s Zimbabwe All Stars and Innocent Mjintu from Barura Express.
However, with the current set up at Orchestra Mberikwazvo, which is now composed largely of inexperienced members recruited from smaller groups, it shall take time for them to adjust to Macheso’s standards.
This may be a reason it took him time to release the album Tsoka Dzerwendo. History has it that Macheso would release one hit of an album after another with the ease of the sungura maestro that he has become.
Macheso says he took a long time to release the latest album as he needed to get his newly-recruited members used with the Orchestra Mberikwazvo system, but from the latest offering, it is clear that there is an X-factor still missing.
The rich talent he lost was a major contributor to the brand Macheso associated with quality productions. Perhaps his redeeming grace is that he has become such a brand that die-hard fans would still give this album the thumbs up.
But going forward, Macheso may need to go back to the drawing board and re-strategise. He should not be carried away by the current hype because soon, when sobriety returns, the wiser among the fans will be able to pick out what is amiss.
Macheso should be mature enough to appreciate that he would need to do some serious soul searching and and defend his brand.