Jamali

Jamali

Three albums in and Jamali is rapidly cementing its place as a worldclass pop act - as good, of not better, than anything currently released in the international music market.

Sound like a bold claim? Well, take a listen to the meaty 16-track '3 rd Base' to see how Mariechan, Jacqui and Liesl have advanced since the release of their self-titled debut in 2004 and, even more so, since 2006's 'Yours Fatally' hit shelves.

The album's first radio single - a power-pop version of Abba's evergreen hit, 'Knowing Me, Knowing You'- already gave advance notice of Jamali's sound two years after the release of the trio's last studio album. And the remainder of the songs on the album offer up a smorsgabord of delectable listening that travels effortlessly through different music stylings.

If 'Knowing Me Knowing You' is power-pop, then the exceptional 'A Little Obsessed' is urban pop (ala Beyonce) at its most fully evolved. And if 'Going Going Gone' could be P!nk at her supersonic best, then the standout ballad on the album, 'Maybe', is easily something that benchmark vocalists like Christina Aguilera could have pulled out of the hat.

The fact is that Jamali's '3 rd Base' sounds nothing like these global superstars: the combination of Jacqui, Mariechan and Liesl's voices is what immediately sets apart the group from others in its genre. You only need take in the heartfelt 'Maybe' to understand the Jamali magic that comes from combining three voices that have taken such a leap forward on the recording of '3 rd Base'.

"I know that our voices are far, far better than when we first started out," says Jacqui. "Even compared to 'Yours Fatally' I think we have really made big strides on the way we phrase and deliver words. I guess it comes from all that live performing!"

Jacqui is not wrong: since the trio formed out of the 2003-2004 Popstars reality television show, Jamali (a name most fans now know was created out of the first two letters of their first names) has been in-demand for live gigs, these days also earning a living on the corporate circuit. The band is the most successful output since the advent of reality talent shows in South Africa .

For the trio, however, as much as corporate gigs help pay the bills, nothing gives them more pleasure than taking their songs to their fans on a live platform. "It's what makes us keep going, even during the tough times which we do still face at times," Jacqui says with her trademark frankness.