Tilo ngwana Rashaka Mokgopo
Take it as a constructive criticism. I’m not fighting Culture Spear and neither am I running anti Culture Spears machinery. But I’m simply stating out my subjective facts.
Weeks prior to the release of Culture Spears vol 5, Kulanche, I was always excited and over the moon when thinking of the group’s pending cultural hit album. But the mood swiftly changed and this time replaced by a rather somber, dull humour.
I know how hard it is to accept criticism no matter how constructive it may be, but I’ll be lying to everybody including my inner self if I shy away from the truth.
Kulanche describes a deteriorating quality standard of Culture Spears. For the great love I have for the group and the respect I epitomize for their craft, I would like to advise them to go back to the drawing board or risk losing loyal support going forward.
Even though the quantity has increased from 6 to 8 songs, the declining quality cannot go unnoticed. It is very noticeable that Thembeni Ramosethleng’s rich and mesmerizing voice is missing from the album; and because of that, the album lacks rhythm and sometimes sounds dull as if there’s no male backing vocalist especially when Kabelo backs up with Magdeline whose voice far overpowers Kabelo’s.
Simply put, in this album Thembeni is reduced to nothing, only gracing the CD cover to present a united front aimed at deceiving the eyes of the buyer while we all know that Culture Spears is not as united as it used to be back in the days. If that was the case, Madame Magdeline and Meneer Kabelo would have waited for Thembeni to finish whatever project he’s working on and then work on Kulanche album together. The fact that Thembeni’s album was produced outside Kulenyane’s studios also raises eyebrows.
Such things give media reports that Thembeni is no longer an active member of the group a rhythm to rage on. The move to exclude Thembeni from the album has worked to the group’s detriment and could harm the image of the group going forward.
Jelinah’s untimely departure from the group has not yet left people’s tongues. Fans are still inquiring about Jelinah’s whereabouts and to now have Thembeni not featured in the album could make matters worse.
Again, the song Kulanche does not match the standard of all the previous title tracks, except for Korone. The only powerful song in the album that has all the ingredients to at least stand as the title track is Magdeline-led “Tshumu”.
Perhaps Culture Spears should have defied the odds and let Magdeline lead the title track seeing that the song can be considered a plug track that can push the sales of the new album. If Kulanche receives more airplay than all the other songs, I can only wish Culture Spears a good luck.
Make no mistake about it; Magdeline did a very great job with “Tshumu”. This song is one the bests Magdeline has led in the past. I can only imagine how greater it would have turned out had it received Thembeni’s rich voice.
I also don’t understand the logic behind the inclusion of “Magosi” ***Hlatswa lesire*** in this album. According to me, this is a pure personalification of Culture Spears. The song is best suited for E ke Ntolo that has recently become synonymous to Charma Gal project.
But hey, like Kabelo said, people are quick to point out the negatives while disregarding the positives. Only if they knew how hard it is to remain on top, they wouldn’t pass their negative remarks. Maybe I’m just one of them. Nonetheless, I stand by my views.
The following is how I rate all the Culture Spears projects out of a 10