A new album by his young brother called The Return proves the talented vocalist's influence and perhaps the fact that music runs in the family genes.Following the same style as the legendary singer, Bafana Kunene looks set to fit into his brother's big boots with ease thanks to his amazing talent. If there were any doubts about his vocal ability then this album has put those to rest. Co-produced by talented songwriter and singer Ivory Sikepe of BY4 fame and keyboardist Patrick Mthimkhulu, the album takes the listener back into history where the combination of the late Penwell and Joseph Tshimange enchanted fans throughout Southern Africa.
Before he died in May of 2009 Penwell had already composed eight of the 11 tracks. Thus Mthimkhulu completed the project with the other three songs. This is one album that very few, especially avid followers of the late Kunene and Matshikos will find hard to resist. Perhaps the album's best pick could be the track Marikana, a dedication to the victims of the violence that left over 30 people dead last year after a pay dispute between Lonmin Platinum Mine management and the workers.
With a tight, almost reedy
bass and the imposing acoustics combined with well-nurtured counterpoints and authoritative bass riff and a tantalizing rhythm guitar in the background, this song is simply a masterpiece, a good combination of reggae and pop.Then there is Ngeke Ngivume, where the lead vocalist seemed to enjoy his versatility - reverberating between tones with easy.Another dedication to his late brother, in the track Bafana pays tribute to Penwell's good musical work but laments that too often the departed star was taken advantage of. A warning from the young singer to the exploiters - Ngeke Ngivume (I won't agree).
Another track to watch out for is Oh Daddy, a cry from a child who has never seen his/her father and an expression of desire for the two to meet. A hard bass drum identifies this reggae track with a high pitch flute creating a penetrating sound, providing a good instrumentation balance. Judging by the response from the fans when the young Kunene performed his late brother's songs at a festival in Molapowabojang and the content of the new CD fans find solace in the fact that the Kunene family has produced two of the same kind.