Sure, some listeners are going to dismiss middle class ditties like "Black Guitar" and "Born to Shine" from Karen Zoid's new album Chasing the Sun as middle-of-the-road misfires. But by alternating agitated rockers ("Foto's Teen die Muur") with introspective acoustic ballads ("Beautiful", "Meisie wat Haar Potlood Kou"), the South Afrcian rock goddess insistently delivers a series of aural postcards that make for liberating listening.
The decision to kick off with the ballsy rasp of "Oh my Love" delivers, immediately entices the listener with its angst-filled simplicity. While "Suburbs" is an intimate snapshot of the hellish everyday experience of life's many cul-de-sacs with Zoid's wail transforming seemingly trite sentiments into an irony soaked exploration. Yet rather than tread water in the inner thematic quagmire though, the singer surges straight into the defiant anthem "Ons Soek Rock & Roll", declaring her missionary intent with an incisive mix of straightforward guitar driven glory.
Of course, savvy singer songwriter that she is, she's not afraid to return to an intimate mood, with "Deurmekaar" a wistful and confessional reflection on lost love. While lyrics like "Ek ken jou lyf/Ek ken jou taal/Ek ken jou goed/Ek ken jou kaal" might alienate those listeners who prefer fully clothed metaphors, Zoid is an entirely different rock beast. Eschewing pretension for a forthright lyricism on the biting socio-cultural critiques of "Verandering", "Forty Seven" and "Danville Diva" this is one "rock chick" who simply calls it how she sees it:
"Woolies, Edgars, Mr Price/In die Tydskrif lyk dit nice/Diselhemp, designer drugs/Julle e-mail ek wil faks/Maak staat op jou eie smaak/Sonder labels is jy naak/it's all just marketing baby..."