I won’t lie, I approached this review with some trepidation, as I don’t think I’m the target demographic for this album, being an English chick who primarily listens to rock and metal. However, Piet Botha has released a very listenable album in Die Middernagtrein. There are one or two songs that miss the mark for me, but music is quite a personal thing so please feel free to disagree with me.
The songs that are a miss for me would be Die Middernagtrein and Die Goue Strand. Die Middernagtrein has a very weird, “guitar sample”-ish sound in the beginning. After the first minute, it develops into a pretty damn awesome rock song, but if I were not reviewing this album, I would have skipped that song after 30 seconds. Die Goue Strand is also not my favourite. It seems a little too “easy listening” for my taste.
Strong contenders for my favourite song on the album would be Modjadji, Catharina, Ou Leeu Blues and Die Brief. Modjadji has a slow rock ballad feel. The bass guitar really stands out for me, and lyrics are minimal but meaningful.
Catharina has a distinctly Chris Rea sound and feel for me in the beginning. It seems like the kind of track that would play at the opening scene of a movie where the protagonist is about to rob an establishment. I know, that’s a very specific kind of mental picture, but that’s what it brings to mind for me, and why I like it.
Die Brief starts off with a very cool bluesy sound. And it continues in that vein for the whole song. The musicians are tight as hell in this song, and I have a feeling that this is one of those rare songs that would sound even better live than in studio. Ou Leeu Blues also gives you that deep down in the bones blues sound, where you don’t hear the bass but you feel it. This is definitely one of the best songs on the album.
Overall, this album has way more hits than misses. It’s a damn good offering from a very talented and experienced artist.
Piet Botha’s Die Middernagtrein is out on iTunes and streaming platforms.