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Exploded Views: New Holland – A Rising Star

Wednesday, November 11th, 2009

It’s a Thursday evening and I find myself in the company of the crème de la crème of the music scene. The venue lights are dimmed, people are chatting along with a glass of wine in the one hand and a cigarette in the other; the normal thing one does at an elegant, sophisticated VIP album launch of one of Bellville’s hottest acts. However, one thing was different: This launch was held at the House of Rasputin and contained sensual naked female forms dancing as part of the evening’s entertainment – New Holland sure likes to do things differently.

Having been huge fan of their first album, 01, I eagerly awaited the second. Hearing the first single “Something To Believe In” on the radio from their latest release – EXPLODED VIEWS, I loved it and the development in talent and musical abilities were evident.

But upon listening to the whole album, I was a bit cautious. Whilst retaining the core of their signature sound, there are apparent deviations in the sound and music from this album and that of their first album. While there is no doubt in my mind that New Holland will definitely gain more than a few new fans with their different sound, I can not disregard the fact that the same new sound may have distanced some of the old fans.

The album starts of with an energetic song in true New Holland-style, namely “Freedom”. Vocalist TeeJay Terblanche creates a nostalgic frame of mind in songs such as “In Silence”, “Thank you, Gautama” and “Hurricane”, whilst “Little Less Lonely” has a notably faster pace. “This(is)home” and “21” can be seen as some of the songs which clearly illustrates the new direction in which New Holland is moving with regards to the development of their flexibility as artists.

New Holland also takes their packaging to the next level – the nebula theme of the album certainly emphasis the fact that New Holland is one of the rising young stars in the SA music scene. The booklet consists of loose pages so that you can choose your own personal cover for your album and also reflects the versatility of New Holland’s music.

Although a nebula can also be linked to a dying star, New Holland’s star is undoubtedly not anywhere remotely near dying and they will continue to shine.

Rating: 8/10

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