MP3 Chris Chameleon - Ek Herhaal Jou
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14 MP3 Songs
WORLD: African, FOLK: Folk Pop
Review by Toast Coetzer from https://www.tradebit.com
It's almost entirely unneccessary to write this review. Certainly in the Afrikaans media there have been so many exultant reviews that the best I can do is to tell you in English that if you want to spend money on one Afrikaans CD this year, it must be this one (there are actually seven Afrikaans CDs that you should buy, so far, this year, but this one is the most accessible).
You already know Chris Chameleon. You might've been a Boo! fan, closet or full-on. Maybe you know him from way back in the short-lived Blue Chameleon. Or you remember him from some TV roles and just have a crush on him because he's so damn attractive.
But what's this Afrikaans shit he's bringing out? Who's this dead poet whose lyrics he's using?
Ingrid Jonker, is the name of the poet â one of South Africa's greatest (Mandela read her poem 'Die Kind' in parliament in 1994) ever. She committed suicide by drowning herself, at age 31, in the sea at Three Anchor Bay in 1965.
Chameleon got into her poetry only recently and it made such an impact on him, that songs just hurtled off his guitar. In interviews he has said how the poetry just immediately lent itself to being sung, that they were basically already completed pop song lyrics.
But while Chameleon effortlessly turns every single (I assure you, there are no duds here) one into a consumable acoustic pop number, the lyrics bind and explode underneath, the one line pushing the next up ahead into scenes so heavy with the mixed vegetation of literature and a scarred young woman trying her best to have a good time that you'll constantly want to press pause, just to let it all settle.
The miracle is how easily Chameleon (I suppose he gave himself the name for a reason) managed to swing from Boo!'s monki-punk â a creation in sound, language and structure entirely of their own â to this more conventional format. All in Afrikaans, driven by acoustic instruments and Chameleon's unaffected voice (no speaking like aliens here).
And that voice. Here it gains a new timbre, something earthier and more forceful. There's still the amazing acrobatic qualities too, for his voice can go where none other in this country can.
Live, the performance of this material is also a revelation, with every show rife with small improvisations. (And Boo! fans will be glad to hear that he also performs some reworked classics from his old band at shows.)
From the title track's hidden erotica ("terwyl ek jou herhaal/ met my borste/ wat die holtes van my hande namaak") to the seemingly playful (but oh, the pain it hides) 'Jy't My Gekierang' to numbers of such great, sweeping melancholy ('Fragment', 'As Jy Slaap') that you will want to unzip your skin and shoot yourself into space like Hunter S. Thompson to the head-banging tune of 'My Pop Val Stukkend'.
It's dark, but cheerful, it's full of hope, but teeming with death. Even the best poetry can appear boring on paper, especially if books aren't a medium you readily engage with. So thank God for Chameleon, who took faded gold and made it whistle and fizz into fourteen shimmering pop songs of unexpected impact and beauty.
There's a drawer here with a phrase I haven't used for a while. It's pretty heavy shit, so give me a moment while I unpack it and put it in the right order:
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