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Guiding Star by Vusi Mahlasela
Released: Mar 2007
Label: Ato Records
On the surface, Mahlasela's album (his second on Dave Matthews' label) looks like a typical genre-crossing effort: the singer duets in almost hip-hop style with everyone from Matthews to the ubiquitous Ladysmith Black Mombazo. But make no mistake, this release suffers from no identity issues. At its best, Mahlasela's second release plunges deep -- profoundly, soul-affectingly deep -- into South African life, elegizing freedom fighters and political poets and paying devestatingly tender tribute to the singer's mother, who died before the album was released. Beautiful stuff.
Sarah Bardeen
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