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Zoot Woman - Zoot Woman


Review: Jack Foley

ZOOT Woman's eponymous second album has one major selling point - the presence of Jacques Lu Cont (the electronic genius behind Les Rythmes Digitales and a frequent collaborator with Madonna).

Hence, the album is littered throughout with the Lu Cont trademarks - plenty of electronic synthesisers, done in a pop style, and complemented by some vocals.

In fact, it is the vocals that are the weakest aspect of the album, as they are not distinctive enough to sway you either way.

But the beats, for the most part, work well, and when left on their own, as in Calmer, Zoot Woman comes into its own, as an album.

Calmer is a really excellent record, riddled with compulsive beats, and moody soundscapes, which would provide a dreamy existence.

There is a laidback quality about it, which makes it simply great to listen to, placing it into territory more typically reserved for the likes of Bonobo, or a Ninja label.

Sadly, the rest of the album struggles to achieve such heights.

There is too much of a tendency to inhabit the Euro-school of electronica, which places mainstream sensibilities above anything too hard, dirty, or atmospheric.

Jean Michel Jarre is an influence, and it's easy to see why, particularly as, when not striving to find its way into some European club venue, the album also possesses a hopelessly 80s feel.

Tracks such as Useless Anyway, Maybe Say and Taken It All are far too throwaway, and instantly forgettable.

All of which fail to do justice to the brighter moments, such as opening track and former single, Grey Day, which functions perfectly well as a dark slice of pop-electronica, or the acoustic ballad, Snow White (during which the vocals appear to head off into Radiohead territory), which possesses a neatly haunting quality.

Lu Cont's presence may serve to ensure the album is worth listening to, but it might also be its biggest hindrance. A mixed bag, then.

 

 

 

Track listing:
1. Grey Day
2. Taken it all
3. Gem
4. Hope in the Mirror
5. Snow white
6. Woman Wonder
7. Calmer
8. Useless Anyway
9. Maybe Say
10. Half Full of Happiness

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