Album in Focus: Purple Chapter 2 (A Mended Heart) by Darrel. The Sequel Is Never Better Than The First Chapter Except Maybe Now

Purple Chapter 2 - A Mended Heart EP is a follow up project to Purple EP which was released a few years back by Darrel popularly known as Darrelworld. Darrelworld is a singer and a song writer who's music contains distinctly East-African flavours. It's RnB meets Afrofusion with Darrel's own twist to the genres. It's not the sort of sound widely played on Zimbabwean airwaves but it's only a matter of time before Darrel invades every household in Zimbabwe.

As far as music goes there's no greater pressure than a sophomore project especially when your debut was well received. The decision to remain true to your original sound or branch out and so many other's add to the volatility of such a project. But I believe Darrel has just about got it right. His sound hasn't changed very much in terms musical direction but you can hear the growth between Purple and Purple Chapter 2.

I first came across Darrel a few months back on the Top 100 Zimbabwe playlist on Apple Music. His single Reva (Samantha) was there in the lower numbers and I got sucked in for a listen because everyone was talking about Samantha at the time. Although it was a different Samantha in Misred. The song had a smooth melody to it and Shona and English lyrics were blended together with seamless ease.

The song instantly made me think of Tanzanian artists and other similar East African sounds. I could hear him singing in my mother tongue but I had to check twice if he was Zimbabwean. The afrofusion sound had an ease to it that told youit wasn't something he was trying to do but it was him. I checked out the visuals for the track later and now it's regularly played on my phone. 

Now Purple Chapter 2 is a 7 track project which is kind of short but it has always been substance that has mattered over length.

  1. A Broken Heart ft Lloyd Soul
  2. Ndipinde ft Tawanda Maps
  3. Falling
  4. Your Body
  5. Easy
  6. Reva (Remix) ft T Sean
  7. Keke

The opening track A Broken Heart ft Lloyd Soul is an arrow to the heart right from the start and not cupid's arrow either but the point of jagged and rusted steel piercing your chest. It took me back to the hundreds of love related confessions I've made and still ended up heartbroken. The song tugs on your emotional strings.

On the chorus when Darrel goes, "Ndaiti ndiwe, ndiwe, ndiwe, dzamara tife, tife..." I could hear Cassper Nyovest screaming I thought you loved me somewhere. Lloyd Soul was also the perfect wingman on this, he complimented Darrel's vocals to just the right measure. It's a great piece from the two.

Ndipinde ft Tawanda Maps features a slightly softer sound bundled with a quicker tempo and some jazz to complete it. It raises the question where is the love? Yet it contains a joyful melancholy that speaks of the brighter twists in the pursuit of love and not just the disappointment in not finding it. There's a saxophone that's played throughout beautifully and it's properly the shining star on this one.

Falling follows the same theme of love but it's filled with the optimism of falling in love again and having it turn out differently. It feels like a love letter and an apology moulded together in beautiful vocals and an easy rhythm to vibe to. Darrel switches up his vocals in near perfect unison with the dynamic of the instrumental. It's a song you can listen to again and again and again.

Your Body falling into the category of your typical love jam. It's slowed all the way down and although the lyrics are delivered softly there's an emphasis to each word.

The original version of Reva is a really good song and I'm always of the thought that if it's really good once then don't remake it. Let a beautiful song just grow old until it's sampled by the next Kanye West two decades later. Yet I listened to Reva (Remix) and I wasn't disappointed. It pretty much remained intact in its form except there's now a verse from T Sean at the beginning and it adds a much needed switch in the songs outlook. The remix is as good as the original or even slightly better.

Keke is another easy listen where Darrel goes at it alone. It's not the passion filled confession of love or sad finals hopes of an optimistic heart but it's more a calm statement. Keke is loved to abnormal proportions and all Dareel asks is a normal amount of love from Keke. I like the tempo and the feel of it. Perfect music for the headphones when you're studying. It rounds up well the beautiful body of sound that is Purple Chapter 2.

What is it with artists and Keke though? First it was Drake now Darrel and the question is what is it about girls named Keke? I've never met one but from the music about them I don't think my heart would survive the meeting.

Greedysouth album rating: 7.3/10

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