Wednesday, May 22, 2024

The LAZY VOICE – BRA Herbie Tsoaeli

Laziness is “the quality of being unwilling to work or use energy; idleness” – and this title is rather misleading. What I am referring to is a mood. The kind of voice the speaks and sings at a slow, casual pace that grips your audience’s attention and leaves you feeling refreshed amidst a fast-paced world.

The beautiful thing about lazy voices is that there is absolutely no effort required. I often wonder if voice training is even necessary. If you don’t believe me, I invite you to listen to Herbie’s new album. I am certain you will agree with me on how exquisitely it was done. I just love his effortless ‘I am not worried’ expression of his voice, that you will find every time he sings. It’s plain, simple, and natural!

In all seriousness is it as easy as it sounds? I do not think so. You must be particularly gifted with this kind of voice. It invokes the spirits and sounds like beautiful incantations that lure you in, and you cannot help but be mesmerized.

After I listened to his album for the first time I kind of decided I really need to listen to it a couple of times to fully comprehend what he is doing, and which avenues he set his eyes on. My goodness there are a lot of them, I tell you.

Wozani is the opening track and I find it not only inviting but truly compelling in that, the acoustic bass introduction is so appealing. By the time the vocals start you are already halfway to destination audiogasm. I generally love the complex simplicity of the path in his music. And of the entire album Wozani is a perfect example.

Abadala Baholo is an up tempo beat with a mellow sound. I love his varied approach on this track. I was wondering how best to describe Herbie’s prevalent style. I guess one can define it as background dominance which is quite humbling because you must listen carefully to establish the extent of dominance.

I hardly ever have favourites from any album, but I must admit Umntu teleports me to places from the past that if I could visit in the physical, I would go back to. Besides, this is where his voice truly shines as it compliments the beautiful sound of his acoustic bass.

I have skipped all the way to Woza Moya (At This Point in Time) for the simple reason that Herbie is sharing his spiritual side and still maintains that purity of sound.

This is one album that puts Herbie in a bracket of artists who never disappoint. Indeed, he has maintained a standard, with each composition sounding so fresh and very creative. Above all, I truly appreciate his genuine effort and portrayal of his journey in the simplest of ways. If he should decide on the next album (Indirect pressure) I would be least surprised if he takes a different turn and gives us another layer of his musical prowess.

Bravo Bra Herbie on a job well done. By the way did you say you are working on your next album of the excess material left over this album. I can dream, can’t I?


Read this week's paper