A New Beginning
is Mbandi’s second release, and is quite an improvement from his 2001 debut, Fingerprints
. The sound quality is much better, and the keyboards and piano sound much fuller and more three-dimensional. A native of West Africa, Mbandi has incorporated a variety of cultural and ethnic sounds and rhythms into these compositions, giving him a more identifiable and personalized sound. Most of the tracks are upbeat and joyful, but a few are more subdued and introspective. Still in his early 20’s, Mbandi is relatively new to the music industry, and shows great promise - especially for those who like their instrumental music a bit on the pop and mainstream side. The title track begins the CD with a lively, uplifting piece that has a catchy rhythm. Inspired by events in his life, this is one of the best tracks on the CD. “Fading Memories” is a little more melancholy, and is an effective piano solo. “Cruising” is another favorite, with it’s tropical rhythms and soulful flute. “Precious Moments” is a winner with piano, flute, voices, rhythm, and guitar. The melody is bittersweet, and the mood of the piece is warm and content. “In a Child’s World” is an innocent piano solo with a simple, direct melody and a cozy feel. Mbandi’s music is warm and accessible and creates a feel-good mood without being syrupy or saccharine. Samples of his music are online at mbandimusic.com
, and purchases may be made there as well.