After the demise of The Sweatband (remember their hit, ‘This Boy’), charismatic lead singer, Wendy Oldfield (no relation to Mike as far as I know) struck out on her own, firstly with an album called ‘Beautiful World’ (in 1991) and while it is a good album, it does suffer a little from being a product of its time, sounding like a lot of the popular music of the late 80’s early 90’s akin to Lisa Stansfield and the like.
However, roll on a few years to 1999 and along came ‘On A Pale Blue Dot’. With the opening track, ‘Coming Home’, Wendy sounds like a different artist. Gone is the rock pop of The Sweatband, gone is the house/dance music sound of ‘Beautiful World’. This has been replaced by a sleek and seductive sound of a matured musician. There is a prowling cat like feel to the song as it lures you into an exotic web of pleasure and mystique. There is a funky guitar which threads a feline route through a jazzy and laid back drum beat that drags you by the collar, like a sexy woman in a film, pulling a seductee to a place of hidden pleasures.
But before you can get too carried away by the music, your attention is grabbed by a voice that is slightly breathless, completely alluring and downright sultry. You are now completely hooked and give yourself over to this underworld of pleasure. There is a slight Middle Eastern feel to the track which has one conjuring up images of dimly lit cafés complete with belly dancers, oil lamps and a heady fog of mystery and intrigue. Then, just as you are comfortable with the hypnotic repetition of ‘Coming home/I’m coming home’, the song suddenly bursts into a heavier rock track and Oldfield’s vocals move from the seductive to raunchy rock.
‘Coming Home’ marked the maturing a of a remarkable local talent and producing some of her finest material. It is possibly one of the sexiest songs to come out of South Africa.
Where to find it:
The Best Of – Wendy Oldfield (2007) Universal, STIFPCD042