eva quartet & hector zazou - the arch (elen music, 2014)

eva quartet & hector zazou - the arch (elen music, 2014)

hector zazou's name on a production means that you are guaranteed a treat for the ears. the arch is no exception. and it takes doing some homework just to realize the breadth of talent from which is drawn upon to make this work.

this release comes posthumously 5 years after the death of zazou and brings into the mix more than 50 musicians from all realms of music, including: laurie anderson, robert fripp, bill frisell, ryuichi sakamoto and many others.

at the core of this recording are four bulgarian vocalists cherry picked from the radio choir known best for the le mystere des voix bulgares recordings. the result is softer and subtle, pleasant for the ears, but potentially disappointing for those expecting groundbreaking new sounds.

rating: *** (out of 5)

foster the people - "supermodel" (columbia, 2014)

foster the people - supermodel (columbia, 2014)

it was important that ftp didn't just deliver "pumped up kicks 2."

here then is a quick walk-through the new release.

so it is welcome ears that receive latin-laced "are you what you want to be?" slight harken back to message in the bottle era sting vocal riffing.

acoustic strains and claps guide draw the listener into "ask yourself." the smiths are back (strains of "hand in glove") and bleeding into the now signs of today. "is this the life you've been waiting for?"

"coming of age" seems to be the theme.with questions like "are you what you want to be?" and "is this the life you've been waiting for?" kicking off the A-side.

digging this lilting, latin guitar lead-in to "nevermind." voice floating over. "life can bloom when something breaks." "you gotta find what you're looking for." "it's hard to know the truth."

"the angelic welcome..." draws to mind todd rundgren.

"best friend" is the song for the dance party. ("celebrate...it will be alright." this seems like the old foster the people. doesn't quite fit with the artsy ensemble i've been hearing thus far.

"a beginner's guide to destroying the moon" gets us back on track. heavier guitars. "staring at the moon. wondering why the bottom fell out." falsetto alternating with speaking voice. with a bit of beasty shout thrown in for measure.

i love the title "goats in trees" because i've recently seen pictures...of goats in trees. it certainly is madness.

part of coming of age is searching for "the truth." the meditation for the 10th song on this disc. "there is a truth...there is a hope." an inkling of faith...maybe.

"fire escape" begins very bare bones. voice with a small room reverb and untainted guitar. "save yourself" an invitation? pimps and prostitutes the company of one who was.

closing out an album of seeking. in all those places we seek. dance parties and eighties music included. this is an album for dreamers and believers and seekers.

rating: **** (out of 5)

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