Disc One, also known as the electric side, opens with Parow’s first single of the album, “Bloubek”. One can clearly see why this was chosen as the first single as this bass-heavy track is also the album’s highlight. In comparison to his old work, however, the content of Nag van die Lang Pette seems to be missing the spark of Parow’s previous hits.
The album’s lyrics deal mainly with topics such as drinking, but Parow throws in a few heart-wrenchers as well. “Veilig” is one of these, and Parow takes the opportunity to speak honestly about his lifestyle and heartbreaks. “Sannie sê” tells the story of the dysfunctional relationship of Jannie and Sannie and their bitter end while “Ode to you” reaches out to those in hardship. Other than that, the lyrics lack that special wit and opt rather for undemanding references to partying. This isn’t all bad if you intend to blast Nag van die Lang Pette at your next house party but those who enjoy listening intently to Parow’s lyrics may be disappointed.
In terms of collaboration, Parow has managed to pull out all the stops. Half of the electric side’s track listing features prominent local artists including DJ Naaldekoker, old favourite Francois van Coke and fellow rappers PHFat. Each artist adds value to their respective track by contributing to melody.
Melody is where Parow really excels on the album. Infectious beats, grimy drops and heavy bass permeate the electric side. Each song is different though, from tracks such as “The future” which borders on Kwaito to the more typically dark rave “Groeipyne”.
The second part of Nag van die Lang Pette is the acoustic side. Hearing old favourites such “Byellville”, “Eksie ou” and “I miss” rapped along to an acoustic guitar is amusing and allows the listener to focus on Parow’s sharp lyrics. New song, “Tema van jou lied”, which features Valiant Swart, is a beautifully nostalgic folksong that is accentuated by a lonely harmonica.
While the use of an acoustic guitar is pretty and even creative at times, the acoustic side could never feel like a full album and can become tedious after a while as there seems to be only so much you can do to accompany a rapper.
Both the electric and acoutic sides contain a number of comical skits that serve to introduce, bind and round off the musical content. However, they aren’t particularly funny and are more of a distraction.
Parow has managed to produce a solid album that fans will no doubt be pleased with and will hopefully result in a number of radio hits for the artist. There is, however, the lingering concern that Nag van die Lang Pette isn’t on par with the potential Parow has shown on his past two albums. While it may be too soon to judge, for now the album is very much in the middle of the road.
Image: Paul Ward