“I go by the name of African Sushi” were his closing words on “Your Man”, and since then we have longed for a sushi season. We have endured several sonic dry spells and finally “Sushi Season: The First” is upon us. Call us entitled, but from Garry Mapanzure, we shall always expect freshly squeezed vocals served on a silver platter. Not Negotiable!
1. GO LOW This is probably what happens when you listen to a TedTalk right before releasing an extended play record. You are so much driven by that “sometimes in life, you just have to dive into it”-energy and you find yourself doing away with time-worn traditions such as slow tempo, spoken word intros. “Go Low” sustains a peculiar vibe that makes it all too hard to predict what will follow. If anything, its buoyant Afro Pop/Dance flow will make you want to hear more.
2. NDITAURIREIWO The transition from “Go Low” to this song kind of feels like returning to factory settings. All of our updates lost in thin air, but we still have the same Garry we’ve always loved, the same Garry who’s never been reluctant to pick up an R&B instrumental and get emotional. “Nditaurireiwo” is nothing like its predecessor; the two songs are on opposite extremes of the vitality spectrum, while the former might be ideal for the dance floor, the latter is what you put on on your drive back home at 3AM, when all you need is calm devotion.
Quotable Lyrics: The only time you’re happy when you fall, is when you fall in love.
3. SWEET NOTHINGS Call me fainthearted or whatever, but is this song not the main event of this whole extended play, and is that culminating ascension towards the end of the song not the centrepiece of it all? The plain-sailing production imparts a classical feature to the song and that contributes in great part to its eminence. In all honesty, this is the song that confirms the superiority of Garry’s vocal prowess.
4. WAY IT GOES This song’s production is handsomely complex in architecture, but stanning is not something we can just resist. The instrumental is certainly doing most of the doing most of the heavy -lifting in this song, as the vocals are dabbling on the light side. However, I foresee the tropical vibe being well received by most who’ll listen to this song. Like most of the songs so far, it deserves a revisit.
5. ALONE The melancholy carried by ‘Alone’s violin and piano chords is, dare I say it, a requisite part of the extended play record. Lets face it, we are all emotional creatures and we ought to have a little sadness evoked in us every now and then (confirm with your shrink). Garry is not conservative with his vocals on this one, and although “Morose” is the theme of this song, his falsetto will ironically make you happy.
6. MORE Here’s a message to that one person that’ll get mixed feelings about this song, “You’re not alone, fam! We’re in this together, FAM!” While most elements of “More” are beyond passable, that pop production is certainly not a good color on Garry, and on lesser hands, this song will most probably land as unrelieved.
7. MUNGANDIGONA Here’s a list of the song’s most charming features; it is a homely joint, it calls to attention Garry’s ability to be diverse and more so than anything else, we can get down to it! “Mungandigona” is one of those unforeseen elements that somehow blend with the whole record. And a gem hidden within the bars of this song is when Garry teases to rap. One definitely ought to rehear this one!
8. PINDIRAI (MILLION TEARS) There’s a significant chance Garry was overcome with a scintilla of acute nostalgia when he recorded this euphonious piece. I mean, it is no secret that he was brought up by ministerial parents and he practically grew up in church; “Pindirai” clearly attests to that part of his being. This song is equally immaculate and vulnerable; and is certainly a peculiar kind of outro, from which a million tears will pour. Sonically, the song makes a lot of sense, his vocals were made for the deep R&B melodies.
In as much as we have come to appreciate Garry’s easy on the ear vocals in R&B love songs, we are always open to hearing him explore new musical avenues. It is quite pleasing to know that this something that’s not completely lost on him, and hopefully, “Sushi Season: The First” is the first of many great records to come from African Sushi.