No plain Jane

By Maricelle Gouws

From Brussels to Johannesburg…Karen Zoid’s music makes you long to be like the paparazzi, uncharacteristically respectful, but always close to her!

This artist has a remarkable way of attracting listeners and even had a whole generation named after her in 2001. She is arguably South Africa’s most talented female rock artist.

Together Don Reinecke as lead guitarist, Marlon Green on drums and percussion,  Rixi Roman on bass and Karen Zoid as lead vocalist created Postmodern World, Zoid’s fourth released album. The album consists of 13 stupefying tracks which focus on various transformations that took place in Zoid’s life during 2007. With her alluring voice, instruments and special sound effects, Zoid skillfully manipulates the feelings and emotions of her listeners. The style of the music prepares you for a laid-back mood and, surprisingly, has a religious value attached to it. However, it does not evade the subject of rock music.

Aeroplane Jane, a hit single on the album, gives you the sense that you are travelling. The song starts off with a slow beat, but the guitar and Zoid’s presence gently lead you into a phase where you feel that the aeroplane and the actions taking place on it is, in fact, driving you “insane”. Zoid achieves this by manipulating her voice to create a sense of chaos. You belong with me, on the other hand, starts off on a very slow pace which is kept throughout the track. If this song does not make you sway rhythmically, nothing will.

With the album only containing english songs, it makes the Afrikaner audience skeptical about what to expect from Zoid in future. This is different from Zoid’s previous albums like Poles Apart and Media, which cater both for the english and afrikaans market. In Silly Town, track three on Postmodern World, Zoid tends to sing like a bat out of hell and it may be difficult for listeners to keep track of the words.

In 2008, Zoid won the South African Music Awards (SAMA) for the Best Female Artist. Zoid sings at festivals including the Klein Karoo National Arts Festival, Oppikoppi and Grahamstown National Arts Festival. She also performed alongside various international artists. Zoid is currently starring in a Franz Marx film, Susanna Van Biljon, and her new album, Terms & Conditions, is said to be released by the end of October.

Karen Zoid’s music will definitely make you want to be like a koeksister, delightfully entangled with her talent.

YouTube video: Aeroplane Jane by Karen Zoid


2 thoughts on “No plain Jane

  1. I like the koeksuster simile at the end, it adds a local touch to this South African artist’s review. Nice one 🙂

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