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The Voice

Vusi MahlaselaAudio CD
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

Price: $12.27 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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The Voice + Say Africa + Sing to the People
Price for all three: $43.63

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 22, 2003)
  • Original Release Date: 2003
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Ato Records
  • ASIN: B00009YXH1
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #78,494 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Melodi Ya Mamelodi
2. Silang Mabele
3. When You Come Back
4. Weeping
5. Sleep Tight Margaret
6. Red Song
7. Troubadour
8. Emtini Wababe
9. Fountain
10. Untitled
11. Mma Modiane
12. Loneliness
13. Ntate Mahlasela
14. A Prayer For Our Time

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Those who have heard the Amandla! soundtrack will no doubt remember South African singer Vusi Mahlasela. His passionate, octave-leaping voice on "When You Come Back" sets a tone for the album, which adeptly documents the political and social music surrounding Nelson Mandela and the movement he led. In fact, Mahlasela actually sang at Mandela's inauguration, having been a veteran of many ANC rallies as well as a popular music figure. Signed by Dave Matthews to Ato, Mahlasela first domestic release collects 14 songs from his five South African albums. Some of The Voice's songs have a glossy world music sheen that isn't far from Peter Gabriel's recent work, but the album is balanced by songs in the more traditional and acoustic vein. Highlights include the bluesy "Red Song," which tells the story of three friends taking up arms for apartheid, the moody "Troubadour," and "Fountain," where Mahlasela’s vocal gymnastics will thrill fans of Youssou N'Dour. This is a must for fans of African pop music. --Tad Hendrickson

Product Description


Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
(16)
4.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning! August 11, 2003
Format:Audio CD
In his debut US release, Vusi has given us a selection of some truly uplifting and beautiful music. As a veteran of the Apartheid resistance movement, Vusi developed a style of song that at once cried out in anger and, simultaneously, gave hope and courage to the oppressed. Since the election of Nelson Mandela, he has penned songs that urge all the people of South Africa to put the past behind them and get working on the challenging task of rebuiling the "Rainbow Nation," as well as songs that give voice to a nation still struggling with the crises of poverty and inequality. Listening to his music, however, you are struck more by his sense of optimism, hope, and love, than any political message. His guitar playing and entrancing voice are enough to keep you playing this CD again and again. Although there are a few unfortunate omissions from this collection (Kuyobanjani Na?, Khunkhuwane, and Kwa-Zulu among some personal favourites), this is a perfect CD to turn you on to an artist that everyone should know. Kudos to Dave Matthews and the team at ATO for bringing Vusi to American ears!
(P.S. If you like this, keep an ear out for Vusi's friend and collaborator, Louis Mhlanga. They released a wonderful CD together, "Live at the Bassline," which I highly recommend.)
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Easygoing Music for a Hard World April 9, 2004
By Birdman
Format:Audio CD
If you love Paul Simon, James Taylor and neighboring performers, you'll naturally enjoy this lovely, slightly overproduced album. Fifteen songs and nearly a full hour of songs that radiate peace, optimism, rebellion and quiet grief. Mahlasela is such a natural, fluid guitarist, I wish the producers had not added as much back-up as they did, even though the highly produced approach works at times. The highlight of the album is the heart-wrenching song, "When You Come Back" from the Sundance -winning film, AMANDLA! but I can't really say there's a clunker on the album. The music is quietly joyous and ambient, and the artist's voice is one of the finest ever to have emerged from South African popular music. A pure pleasure recommended without any serious reservations.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Captivating Voice September 23, 2004
Format:Audio CD
During summer 2004, I saw Vusi perform in New Jersey in front of an audience who had little to no previous knowledge of him, his music or South African music in general. But it only took the 1st strum of his guitar and utterance of his voice to let the audience know that we were in for a treat! By mid-session, he captured the hearts of the audience, and at the end of the performance, no one wanted it to end!! This cd is the same, even if you don't know him or his music, it is pure joy from beginning to end, and then the listener is drawn to hit the repeat button to play the deeply meaningful words set to delightful melodies over and over. He has an amazing way to tell about difficult and bitter days in South Africa with such sweet melodies that seem to mend the wounds of years gone by.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Amazing Collection November 16, 2006
By K. Hall
Format:Audio CD
I just saw Vusi perform with the Putamayo Acoustic Africa tour and bought this CD there. Played it twice in a row the next day and almost daily since. This is a compilation of songs from his African releases and I cannot speak highly enough of it. Highly recommended to fans of Habib Koite and similar artists.....hauntingly beautiful, uplifting and full of the musical spirit that makes us all one people. Enjoy.....Kev
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing, new doors opened when I found this CD March 22, 2007
By TC
Format:Audio CD
His voice is everything that is said about it.

I can't add much to the praise that has been said about this magical CD.

All the struggle, beauty and hope that is characterized by South African music is embodied in this CD. A rare gem in every sense of the phrase.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Close but no cigar... April 25, 2005
By Shipo
Format:Audio CD
I had the pleasure of hearing this entire CD several months ago and thought, "WOW! This stuff's great!", and at that point I would have given it the full 5-Star rating. So what happened? Well, I had the even greater pleasure of seeing Vusi perform in a small music hall last week, by himself (as in no band), and that experience was so great that it has sort of destroyed the pleasure of listening to my new (autographed) CD. :-( In my opinion, the band that accompanies Vusi on most (all?) of the tracks, while good, actually detracts from the soul and emotion of his message. Case in point, Vusi has released two different versions of "When You Come Back", one on the "Amandla!" soundtrack, and one on this CD. The version on Amandla! is a simple acoustic number that to me at least has far more impact than does the highly produced (to use another reviewers phrase) version on this album.

Will I still listen to this CD? You bet! However, every time I hear it, I'll be wishing for an "unplugged" version.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
Having been married to a white South African, I knew a little something about the history of South Africa. But these songs really taught me how aparteid was viewed through the eyes of the oppressed. I am in awe of their hopefulness and ability to forgive in the face of such long-standing oppression. I wish we had such poetry and hope in our music instead of the angry rap and otherwise bland lovesongs that come out of the music industry in America. I saw Vusi at Carnegie Hall a few years back and vowed to track down whatever he has recorded. I am never disappointed.

I've heard Josh Grobin's new version of "Weeping" and frankly it seems almost sacreligious to have a white American guy sing it. But I guess he couldn't resist the beauty of it and I'm happy that a wider audience might hear it - but I'm guessing they'll have no idea what it is all about. Pity.
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