The Parlotones | China Album Review


The Parlotones is a South African indie rock band from Johannesburg that formed in 1998. The Parlotones have released more than 8 studio albums- Episoda (1/2003), Dragonflies and Astronauts (6/2005), Radio Controlled Robot (7/2005), A World Next Door to Yours (9/2007), Stardust Galaxies (6/2009), Eavesdropping on the Songs of Whales (1/2011), Live Design (10/2011), Journey Through the Shadows (5/2012), Stand Like Giants (9/2013), Antiques & Artefacts (12/2015), and are one of South Africa’s best-selling music artists of all time, holding multi-platinum success and having won 9 South African Music Awards. Their newest album, China will be released on June 28th 2019, offering 14 new tracks that are available for pre-order on Apple iTunes.


Kahn Morbee (Vocals/Guitar) - Neil Pauw (Drums)

Glen Hodgson (Bass/Keys/Backing Vocals) - Paul Hodgson (Lead Guitar)

This is my first exposure to The Parlotones and I thoroughly enjoyed their sound, especially the first track Antidote. This song has such a cool 80’s vibe to it. The monotone vocals this song provided were a cool match with the electronic pop instrumentals. This song is beautifully upbeat, and an anthem for personal growth, freedom, and love with lyrics like “You’re the ocean, I’m the sea. You’re the voice which calls to me. Cut me down, set me afloat, upon your tides my antidote.” I cannot tell you how many times I listened to this song, but it was a lot. It’s easily my personal favorite on this album.

Changing it up, and showing their range of creativity and depth was Can You Feel It. This song blends rock and the electronic pop tunes amazingly; the guitar instrumentals reign supreme above the electronic elements in this song. The lyrics and vocals are incredibly powerful, sexy, and expertly delivered; I could listen to the singer’s voice and accent all day long. There are no monotone vocals to be found here. “From sunrise to sunset” I can absolutely feel the awesome vibes this song emits to the listener. Slowing it down just a little, and showing a softer side, is The Whole of the Moon; another cool rock song that makes me swoon and has an 80’s feel to it. I loved the electric guitar blended with the synthesizing instrumentals. This song is about the differences in perspective of two people who experience the world around them with lyrics like “I held a rainbow, while you held it in your hand” and “I saw the crescent, but you saw the whole of the moon”. The vocals and lyrics show an appreciation and admiration for the subject of the song and their ability to see and feel more in life. This song spoke to me on a personal level and made me appreciate my ability to also see “the whole of the moon.”


The Parlotones are a truly talented group of men who bring beautiful messages and songs to their big following. It’s easy to see how they have been so successful, and why they’ve won so many awards. I’m surprised that I had never heard of them before being asked to review their album, and am elated to have been introduced to their sound as a result. The new album gets 5 stars from this reviewer, and The Parlotones get a brand new fan!

Review by Allyson Romano
f28 Music Media Editor