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Putumayo’s ‘South Africa’ could not have been released at a more appropriate time, as albums namesake South Africa hosts the soccer World Cup for the first time on African soil from June 11 to July 11. All eyes will be focused on South Africa, what better way to familiarise the world with the culture of South Africa. Just as the 2010 World Cup is a showcase of the country’s post-apartheid status, the music is also a reflection of the journey the country has taken. “While South Africans have endured many struggles, they have often used music as a tool to protest and to express their hopes for a better future.”
Putumayo’s ‘South Africa’ CD is a fusion of traditional and contemporary music that celebrates the rich musical diversity of this unique country at the southern tip of Africa, with legends like the late singer and political activist Miriam Makeba, and vocalist Phinda, who recently completed a stint in The Lion King. The Album takes you on a journey both spiritually and culturally; the music soothes and then compels you to get up and dance or if you are more conservative you will want to sway to the rhythm of the music. One would expect an album entitled South Africa to be mainly traditional, but you will find as you listen to the varying songs the music engages you as one can relate to every song and genre regardless of your inability to speak any of their eleven official languages.
Though you may not be able to take a trip to South Africa to enjoy the lush countryside or even this monumental time in the history of South Africa, the mixture of songs Afrojazz and township jive to mbaqanga and Afropop gives you a mental picture of the people of South Africa and the country. This Album is definitely a must have in your musical collection.