Album Review: Phelo B****

27 June 2011 - 15:21 By Jocelyn Uithaler
Phelo Bala performs at the opening of the Steak Resturant in Silverstars Casino in Mogale City.
Phelo Bala performs at the opening of the Steak Resturant in Silverstars Casino in Mogale City.
Image: BAFANA MAHLANGU. © Sowetan

The younger Bala brother, Phelo, has just released his debut solo album and it is delightful.

His smooth vocals on the 10-track self-titled album hits the right spot.

Phelo garnered fame as a third of the trio the Bala Brothers, alongside his brothers Zwai and Loyiso. With him going solo, he showcases his talent, which clearly runs in the family.

From the first track, Hold me now, one can feel the emotion that embodies the rest of the album.

Most of the songs, including Times are changing and Be mine is performed with a live band. This rich and warm texture is the perfect accompaniment to Phelo’s smooth voice.  A voice that is mature beyond his 20 years.

On Better Place, Phelo collaborates with Proverb. This song is one of those anthems that gives hope and is sure to cheer one up, includes lyrics like imagine all the people uniting to make the world a better place.

Similar to his older brothers, Zwai and Loyiso who are both established artists, Phelo attended the Drakensberg Boys Choir School, and the classical training he received there, resonates in his arrangement and understanding of the music.

The album leaves one with a warm and fuzzy feeling, especially with lyrics like make my dreams come true and be the angel in my life from the track Be mine.

Phelo might be branching out on his own, but with  help from his brothers as executive producers, it's clear that they are very supportive of each others' careers and love working together.

X