"Pata Pata" recalls her early popularity, as she became known to the wider public, as well as with American singers like Harry Belafonte, who teamed with her later on An Evening with Belafonte/Makeba. With a casual call-and-response structure that fit in with the popularity of calypso at the time, "Pata Pata" belied the intensity beneath Makeba’s surface. Despite the firmness of her principles, her music always beckoned with unthreatening invitation as she investigated numerous genres throughout her career. "Mas Que Nada," usually associated with Sergio Mendes, comes across with a more beseeching quality as Makeba uses the long tones of the melody to inveigle, to allure. Makeba uses the same device, the lengthening of a single tone over several measures as the chords change beneath it, on "Iyaguduza," once again responding to the chorus of female singers with her own statement. Then there’s "I Shall Sing," which Van Morrison wrote when Makeba lived in exile in Guinea and which conforms to her immersion in music as a pure form of communication for rousing the spirit of her listeners. Hugh Masakela’s "African Convention" presents the still-unrealized ideal of a unified African people drawing upon their common heritage for future strength and cultural advancement.
Because of her sporadic presence before the listening public throughout her singing career, Miriam Makeba perhaps has not received the attention that her life, one dedicated to principle and art, has deserved. With a matter-of-fact nature, Makeba has let her music chronicle the progress of her journey, and Reflections includes many of the significant songs associated with her career to outline the breadth of her accomplishments and the rightness of her beliefs.