Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Review: Zap Mama - Supermoon

Label: Heads Up International

Released: August 7, 2007

Frankly, I wasn't very familiar with Zap Mama prior to hearing the title track to this album about a month ago on my local independent radio station, WTMD. I liked the song well enough to track down the album, but once I got it, I found it to be a tough one to write about. Supermoon the album is considerably more in the world music realm than "Supermoon" the song. Since world music isn't really my thing, it was harder to write about even though I liked the album.

Supermoon continues Zap Mama's move away from sparse, nearly a capella arrangements to to a fuller sound. The album certainly puts the world into worldbeat, drawing not only on African styles, but also Cuban, reggae, jazz and r&b. At times it even takes on some elements of electronic dance music as well as a disco slickness without dropping its overall organic nature. Supermoon does have a few tracks that stand on their own, the title track in particular, but by and large it works best taken as a whole as the album tracks are not mere filler, but serve to enhance of the overall work.

If you aren't a worldbeat fan, Zap Mama may not convert you, but it will give you a very listenable opportunity to see what's happening outside in the broader world. If you are a worldbeat fan though, I suspect you'll see Supermoon as a light version of the music you love, dummied down a bit for those of us who don't understand.

Rating: 6/10



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