Adapter: Peter McIea.
Personnel: Miriam Makeba (vocals); Miriam Makeba; Nelson Lee (vocals, Fender Rhodes piano, string synthesizer, drum programming, background vocals); Johnny Chonco (guitar, acoustic guitar); Johnny Chonco (guitar); Louis Mhlanga (acoustic guitar, wah-wah guitar); Floyd Manana, Greg Georgeiades, Joel Klein (acoustic guitar); Gaylen Sales (harp); Olivia Sanov, Miro Chakaryan, Barbra Walton, Ivo Ivanov (violin); Norman Goldsmith, Maryan Vonk-Stirling (viola); Robin Landauer, Laurie Howe (cello); Kelly Petlane (flute, pennywhistle); Kelly Petilane (pennywhistle); Prince Lengoasa, Prince Lengoasa (trumpet); Andile Yenana (piano); Ngwako Manamela (vibraphone); Herbie Tsoaeli (bass instrument, upright bass); Mandla Zikalala (upright bass); Kesivan Naidoo (drums, percussion); Kwazi Shange (drums); Godfrey Mgoina (congas, bongos, claves, shaker, percussion, chimes); Gavin Eckhart (shaker, drum programming); Zamo Mbutho, Zenzi Lee (background vocals); Bushy Seathlolo (acoustic guitar, piano, synthesizer); McCoy Mrubata (alto saxophone); Jabu Magubane (trombone); Lulu Gontsana (drums); Ringo Madlingozi (djembe, tabla, percussion, drum programming, background vocals).
Audio Mixer: Gavin Eckhart.
Liner Note Author: Marc Le Chat.
Recording information: Digital Cupboard Studios.
Photographer: Martin Beck.
Miriam Makeba is an icon of South African music, beyond dispute. It's a status she's earned over the years, and it gives her the luxury to release a smooth album like this, where she can show a great deal of her range. There are new versions of two of her most famous pieces, "Pata Pata" and "The Click Song," updated to fit in with her new musical outlook (although it has to be admitted that the originals were much better). There are also a couple of Brazilian pieces, which wok wonderfully well for the relaxed quality of her voice, especially on "Xica da Silva," while a French ballad, "Comme une Symphonie d'Amour," unfortunately turns to the incredibly syrupy. She fares much better on a song like "Love Tastes Like Strawberries," with its delicious airiness and strong lyrics, where she can really shine, and on the bluesy "Quit It," which offers another, grittier side of her talent. A couple of the tracks come from the pen of her ex-husband, Hugh Masekela, admittedly not the strongest work on the record. She can still sing gloriously, and there are some cuts here that show that. Sadly, too much of it feels like coasting, but she's entitled to that. Hopefully next time out she'll challenge herself a little more. ~ Chris Nickson