My original idea for today’s blog topic was taxi part underwear. It is one of my latest obsessions, but that posting will have to wait because on my way to the taxi park to do a little research, I got a little sidetracked. I saw a ripped advertisement for Blu 3’s new CD on a post by the road and was reminded that I needed to pick up a copy, so I jumped of the taxi I was on before reaching the park in order to pop into Music Land and grab a copy. I never made it to the taxi park after that because I was close to Ban Café; it’s aromatic tractor beam pulled me in. Have you ever tried their chocolate chip-cashew nut cookies? Well, you should. A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!
Blu 3 is probably my favorite Ugandan group made up of three beautiful women: Lillian, Jackie and Cindy. Amazingly, they were put together in one of the Pop Stars contests about three years ago, and they’ve survived. I bought their first album, Hitaji, a couple of years ago, and it’s still on regular rotation on my iTunes. Every song on that album was a great pop confection, personal favorites include: Frisky, Hitaji, Tomalaako, Don’t Say, Fly Away and U Don’t Know. Basically, most of the album. I was hoping for nothing less from their sophomore album: Burrn.
The ads for Burrn describe it as “3 beautiful voices, 17 amazing songs, 1 sizzling album”. I agree. The dance songs (I <3 Katika) got me up and shaking it in my living room, and the ballads, including the mega hit in Uganda, Nsanyuka Nawe, are beautiful. The sound of this album is quite different from Hitaji, which a difficult accomplishment for any artist and highly unusual for Ugandan artists that often have a tendency to regurgitate past sounds for a guaranteed crowd pleaser (I’m not mentioning any names because maybe Chameleone might be suffering from chronic writer’s block.) Stemming from their first album and the track Hitaji, the girls have become masters of fusing English and Swahili. The Blu 3 girls took a more active role in writing songs for this album. A stand out on this album is Cindy’s creation, It’s My Life. It is in a similar vein as songs from Christina Aguilera’s Back to Basics, very old-old school, which is quiet a unique sound for a popular Ugandan artist. I love the piano. Actually, the track is very reminiscent of the remix to Baby One More Time that Britney performed at the 1999 European Video Music Awards. Plus, she sings about air time! Lovin’ it! My only complaint with the album is a general complaint that I have with most Luganda songs: the artificial, high-pitched, generic synthesized instruments. But hey, it’s what a large audience wants and enjoys. It sells. Maybe it’s just me. Steve Jean is one of Uganda’s best producers, and he’s crafted another fantastic album.
Ok, so I’ve gone on and on about artists and an album that many people reading this blog will probably never have the pleasure of listening to. Too bad for you. Just one more thought. The cover art reminds me of that of an album by a fantastic, defunct female trio in the States: Fire by Wild Orchid. Too bad, the album was never released, and Stacie Ferguson left the group, got addicted to Crystal Meth and later became Fergie of the Black Eyed Peas.