Sergio reviews Arno Carstens’ Wonderful Wild.
Artist Name: Arno Carstens
Album Name: Wonderful Wild
Genre: Soft Rock/Acoustic
Arno Carstens’ third solo album, Wonderful Wild, is his most mature recording thus far. It’s probably not as easily accessible as 2003’s Another Universe or 2005’s The Hello Goodbye Boys, but it has seen the local legend up his songwriting game and tread in new territories, which I, for one, never expected to hear.
Arno has taken risks on Wonderful Wild that might divide the audience. For example, I can understand how the first single ‘Dreamer’ might be rejected by certain listeners, due to the dance undertones scattered throughout the track. However, if you put aside genre definitions and preconceived expectations, you might find that the experimentations do work out well in the end. Also, the album is evidently geared towards a more grown-up and sophisticated audience; if you prefer hardcore “uhn-tis-uhn-tis”, ninja rap or Black Label-instigated riots, I’d recommend giving this one a skip.
From an emotional perspective, Wonderful Wild is the equivalent of sitting next to a warm fireplace and sipping on the finest chardonnay. Arno’s distinct voice and introspective lyrics, which can at best be described as “soul food”, combined with inviting, warm guitar tones will settle any nerves and calm you quicker than any Xanax tablet. In short, it’s the perfect end-of-day album to cap off a miserable day, where you’ve planned your boss’ forthcoming murder down to a tee (‘Heartbreak Monday’ is a recommended for those with evil intentions. Just adapt the lyrics to your situation).
Look, I won’t lie; I do thoroughly love the “Springbok Nude Girls” Arno Carstens more than his other incarnations – but after seeing him perform his softer material live, there is something that captivates you more than words can describe. Arno just possesses magic. Wonderful Wild is debonair listening – not for the yobs.
Best Tracks: ‘Dreamer’, ‘Emergency’, ‘Wonderful Wild’, and ‘Too Many Tomorrows’