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Review: Thandiswa - Belede
4.0Overall Score

It’s been a long time coming but Thandiswa is back with her third solo record. After blowing up the charts with her latest smash hit ‘Jikijela’, the singer has released her highly-anticipated comeback album ‘Belede’, her first in seven years, which sees the artist take on a jazz approach.

The album is an interesting one because it’s a side of Thandiswa we haven’t seen before. Jazz is a massive genre around the world and the singer does her best to deliver an outstanding album. Singing in Xhosa, the songstress pushes boundaries as she steps outside of her comfort zone and dedicates the new record to her late mother.

The nine-track album is a dedication to those who have fought for freedom and the songs that shaped the country. Thandiswa does a fantastic job reimagining songs such as ‘Makubenjalo’, ‘Jikijela’, ‘West Wind’, ‘Wakrazulwa’, ‘Malaika’ and ‘Nontsokolo’.

This is an important piece of work for Thandiswa. Emotionally, the singer pours her heart and soul into every piece of this record and it’s evident in her vocals. The jazz approach allows her to show off her incredible range unlike ever before and the way she has approached the songs shows off her creativity, artistry and vision as an artist. It’s a brave thing to switch up such monumental songs but the singer does so with ease.

I feel like I also need to commend the musicians on the album as well. The music is exquisitely recorded and each instrument is well thought out and so instrumental to the overall sound of the record.

The album is a breath of fresh air. I’m proud of Thandiswa for taking this risk. After a seven-year absence, this couldn’t have been an easy decision but it’s an approach many artists should be taking when it comes to their music.

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