1001 South African Songs You Must Hear Before You Go Deaf

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Archive for the tag “Kyk Hou Lyk Ons Nou”

Muur – Chris Chameleon

Kyk Hou Lyk Ons Nou - Chris Chameleon

Kyk Hou Lyk Ons Nou – Chris Chameleon

By the time Chris Chameleon released his album ‘Kyk Hoe Lyk Ons Nou’, he had made a name for himself as a solo artist. Gone are the quirky punky sounds from his Boo! days (except for the cheeky ‘Apie’) and we now find a maturing musician who is performing some of the most polished work of his career. Having Springbok Nude Girls’ Adriaan Brand and Theo Crous help out on the album with Crous producing it, certainly helps.

‘Muur’ (which translates as ‘Wall’) is probably the stand out track on the album. It features orchestral sounds over which Chameleon stretches his vocal range, moving comfortably between the mid-range verses to the soaring higher-register chorus which helps the song soar. It does not, however, visit the outer reaches of his amazing range, but the song doesn’t call for this. It is a serious song and has an aching longing feel to it made more pertinent by lines like ‘en soms verbeel ek my dat ek dit met eimand deel’ (and sometimes I imagine that I share this with somebody).

There is a melancholic feel to the track, something you would not have found in his work with Boo! but can be seen in some of the Nude Girls’ work like ‘Blue Eyes’. But where the Nude Girls would generally have been more hard hitting, Chameleon keeps this on the pop level. It is a song to float along gently with, perhaps thinking about life and all it means, or just losing oneself in the beauty of the music.

Walls can keep things in or keep things out and this song gives you the option be introspective and use it as a soundtrack to your thoughts, or you can look outward to the vastness of the world that is out there and let the song take you into those spaces beyond. Either way you use the song, one has to acknowledge that it is another brick in the wall of hits that Chris Chameleon has brought us. It is a track to check out, however, if you have already heard ‘Muur’, then I guess you don’t need no education.

Where to find it:
Kyk Hou Lyk Ons Nou – Chris Chameleon (2009) Rhyhtm Records, RR98

Video:

Apie – Chris Chameleon

Screenshot from the video for Apie

Screenshot from the video for Apie

A chameleon goes ape. Well, it’s not quite as bad as all that, but if you weren’t familiar with Chris Chamelon and his amazing voice, you would be forgiven for thinking that this was a chameleon on helium as he employes the upper part of his range for this fun filled frolic that is as cheeky and cute as a monkey. However, those in the know will know that Chris Chamelon has such an amazing vocal range that he was able to execute this song without the aid of studio wizardry or extra tight trousers (and that includes the cartoon like aping of the ape of which he sings).
Aside from the vocal talents on display in this song, we can also hear the influence of Europe (Belgium and Holland in particular) where he has had some success, initially as a member of Boo! but also as a solo artist. This shows through in the street-busker accordion that pervades the song.
After the break up of Boo!, Chameleon seemed to be heading in a more serious musical direction as his solo material had less of the light-hearted feel of that he created in the group, but there were still the occasional smile-inducing tracks around and none more so than ‘Apie’. Others in a similar vein include ‘Soen’, ‘Kersfees In Afrika’ and ‘Klein Klein Jakkalsies’, and when one contrasts these to some of the more serious material (which in itself is very good and I’m by no means dismissing it here), you realise just how versatile this Chameleon is and no matter what your mood, you can find a song of his to suit it. ‘Apie’ is for your more playful moments.
Where to find it:
Kyk Hou Lyk Ons Nou – Chris Chameleon (2009, Rhythm Records

Video:

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