As I write this review, I’m sitting patiently on the waiting list for tickets to Greentea Peng’s next gig. Of course, shows are a bit TBC at the moment, but I’m so ready to see this artist perform. Soulful vocals, trippy beats, chilled vibes — you just can’t top that killer combo. And that’s exactly what’s dished up on the album opener, ‘Make Noise’.
Dig deeper into ‘MAN MADE’, the spiritual debut from Greentea Peng, and you’ll quickly see she’s gifted us beyond the standard eleven-or-so tracks you get on an ordinary album — we have a whopping 18 songs to enjoy here. A blessing.
If I shine a light on the hits first, we’re talking the low-key grooves of ‘Kali V2’, hip-hop-style that pulls the puppet strings of ‘Dingaling’ and the jazz-infused ‘Nah It Ain’t The Same’. But it isn’t just the soothing semitones, drum and bass elements and tinkling piano keys that make this album stand out — oh, and don’t forget those relaxing reggae notes that underpin a lot of the tunes. It’s actually the honest, to-the-point lyrics that position Greentea Peng as an artist who won’t be apologising any time soon for being truly herself. She’s a new force to be reckoned with on the scene, and an artist who provides music for fans of both Arlo Parks and Princess Nokia who want something a little different.
Mystical instruments take centre stage on ‘This Sound’, while ‘Free My People’ enlists the help of Simmy and Kid Cruise, who give the record its only collaboration, and one that’ll go down well with Bob Marley fans. Pipes are laid down on the enchanting, somewhat bewitching ‘Be Careful’, which add another edge to this collection.
There’s a satisfyingly funky feel to ‘Satta’, which has the sort of slinky saxophone sections that would go down a treat in your local jazz club. Guitar strings are extremely well showcased on ‘Maya’, a track that has something supremely Santana-like about it. Blues-meets-rap more your speed? The final offering, ‘Jimtastic Blues’, has your name on it.
So, there you have it — many reasons why you should get to weaving Greentea Peng into your playlists and rinsing this dazzling debut. I might not have picked out everything or in any kind of order, but I can’t recommend this enough. There are so many facets to these 18 songs, so it’s time I tie up this brief summary and just let you jump into listening to it.
If you only download one track, let it be: ‘Dingaling’