Sebai Bai

Mahotella Queens

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Sebai Bai Review

by Adam Greenberg

This is the attempted comeback album from Mahotella Queens on the Western market. Unfortunately, the album followed the deaths of the three most instrumental people to the sound of the Queens (aside from the Queens themselves, that is), as their longtime producer, West Nkosi, died, followed closely by master guitarist Marks Mankswane and groaner extraordinaire Mahlathini. The loss of these great talents had an obvious effect on the sound of this latest effort from the Queens, but to their credit they picked a decent functioning band to record the album. The sound is simpler than previous efforts, and perhaps they were trying a little harder to reach the fickle and elusive Western markets. The basics of the legendary sound are still there, but there's a definite attempt to focus on a cappella passages and extra-poppy semi-soukous riffs. Mahotella Queens never entirely disappoint, but this may mark the decline of the group with the extreme losses encountered both personally and musically.

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