The intro of the track “We’re all gonna die someday” makes it clear what this song will deal with. The song almost seems to lean toward the country genre, with straightforward lyrics embellished by a cheerful melody. These elements make for an inventive, memorable track.

Rock icon Francois van Coke lends his voice to the track “Smile,” which is softer than the majority of the album and plays almost like a sentimental pop ballad. If Zoid and Van Coke’s hit “Toe vind ek jou” didn’t prove that these two vocalists can perform an incredibly powerful duet, this song certainly will.

The bouncy, determined track “Where there’s a will” employs some electronic elements, without letting go of the roaring guitar accompaniment that Zoid is so well known for. Yet the song shows a movement out of her more organic comfort zone, proving once again that this album is filled to the brim with variety.

Another highlight on the album is the tender track “You can show it”. The song starts out quietly, but is soon set alight by a fiery beat, as Zoid’s vocals soar until the end of the track. This impassioned display of Zoid’s talent is followed by the more fast-paced “Justice! Justice!” which conveys a strong political message. The lyrics recall the case of Anene Booysen, which shocked the country in 2013.

The track “Nightingale” is a slow, almost lullaby-like song, an uplifting ballad that definitely has the power to move listeners to tears. It leads the listener seamlessly into the album’s final track, “People never learn,” which is emotional and moving, and draws the album to a satisfying close.

After seven years of waiting, fans of Zoid’s English albums are sure to be satisfied with her honest and innovative new delivery. Drown Out the Noise is one of local music’s highlights this year, and it proves why Karen Zoid is one of South Africa’s most loved musicians.

 

Rating: 5/5

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