Music Seen! Ma3 - "Beba Beba"
After the wait, the album has finally arrived. Ma3 (Ma-Three) the “six-piece, quirky Afro-pop band from Nairobi” as they describe themselves recently launched their album Beba Beba to a packed house at the Goethe Institut. And what a cool event it was, with the crowd eager to discover what this not-so-new band had created on their debut album. And has Ma-3 lived up to our expectations, for some yes, but for others like me not quite.
Beba Beba is a decent debut album, but lacks certain should I say, punch. With their groovy, infectious title single “Beba Beba” Ma-3 certainly caught our attention, and placed expectations high for the rest of the album. They certainly got it right with that single (which I admit grew on me), that invites the listener to “have a seat in the mathree.” It is a very apt single filled not only with messages of hope, reconciliation and peace (“spread the smiles and not the arrows”) and also action, (“it starts with me and then to you.”) They no doubt got it right there. The love-groove “Boda” is perfect sunny-day on the open-road kind of song with a soft yet foot-tapping electric guitar sound. It’s always good to hear non-materialistic professions of love in this day and age when that’s in rare supply.
“Haki Yetu” as it names suggests is a call for citizen rights and civil action, but one feels they could have done much better with such a title. You would imagine chanting such, fists-raised song at a music festival, but that emotion failed to be captured in this song, and Juliani’s exciting, energetic persona is sadly squandered here. Apart from “Siku Moja” a song about ambition and determination for success (which sound quite good live) there is not really any other memorable song.
And this is the paradox with Ma-3’s first offering, they obviously have the talent, experience and potential to do great things (i.e songs). With producer Tim Rimbui’s extensive experience (the albums production/mixing quality is great) and good vocals from Nanjira one would have expected much, much more. It may be unfair to compare, but when you look at a group like Sauti Sol, they made a bang with their debut which is crucial for any artist; first impressions count. Ma-3 may have made a misstep with this album by not giving us that wow, ears perked up, I have to find out more about them- album. Hopefully they will get it right the second time around, but as for now I think they need to spice up their sound and give the listeners something to crave.
::KC::Rating 2.5 out of 5 Stars
"::KC:: expected much more from their anticipated debut. Hopefully 2nd time round will be the charm."