Mbaqanga, especially the jubilant style that features a male "groaner" operating against the massed voices of a female chorus, has a special, hypnotic quality. Although the Mthembu Queens aren't as celebrated as Mahlathini and the Mahotella Queens, they showed on this 1989 CD that they don't have to take a back seat to anyone. With Mthembu's deep-throated gurgles, moans, wails and vocals superbly contrasted by the Queens' spirited singing, it doesn't matter that the lyrics aren't in English. The jutting rhythms, flickering guitar and harmonizing have universal appeal to anyone who loves great music.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Ron Wynn