Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
A Ma Zone
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Folk, World Music, Jazz, Pop, R&B, Broadway & Vocalists
On their fourth album, Zap Mama slide even further away from their early manifestation as a cappella group singing the traditional pygmy chants of West Africa--but this isn't necessarily a bad thing. Enlisting notable Phil... more »
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On their fourth album, Zap Mama slide even further away from their early manifestation as a cappella group singing the traditional pygmy chants of West Africa--but this isn't necessarily a bad thing. Enlisting notable Philly hip-hop artists the Roots as well African pop star Manu Dibango, Zap Mama blend the traditional singing for which they gained notoriety with the modern beats of drum & bass and hip-hop. The mix steams up a breathy, sensual brand of Euro-African-American pop. "Comment Ça Va?" swivels in and out of slow hip-hop beats; dark, twanging oudlike bass; and lead singer Marie Daulne's delicate vocals. "'Allo 'Allo" goes light on the sax and heavy on the hook, bringing a funky, playful edge to the collection. "Kemake" grooves understatedly with organ and a soulful, spinning vocal, demonstrating this group's diversified sound. The upbeat French Afro-hip-hop of Les Nubians Zap Mama are not: these women entice with a subtle, underground sound that's all their own. --Karen K. Hugg
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This fine album demonstrates the progress of Daulne and Co.
(4 out of 5 stars)
""A Ma Zone," Zap Mama's fourth album, is a thematic change from their third, the sublime "7". Unlike that album, with its political undertones and strong cultural messages, "A Ma Zone" is an optimistic view of what false intellectuals now call Afropea.This new optimism proves a thematic reversion and a musical continuation. Zap Mama continues the transformation it began on "7" from an a cappella chorus to a Belgo-Zairoise hip-hop group. But it reverts back to "Sabsylama" and their self-titled release in its presentation of the world as fun and beautiful.This mix is interesting, but a little boring. Where "7" fused strong beats and stronger opinions, many of the messages on "A Ma Zone" are banal, making the song so as well. One example: the pointless ballad "My Own Zero," with romantic musings like "You are important to me." The silly lyrics degrade the music.But this is only one weakness on an otherwise strong album. Though weak in comparison to its own past, "A Ma Zone" is still superior to the girl-group albums that appear from all over now."
Zap Mama for everyone!
Z MAN | 09/01/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is the best musical discovery you'll make this year. I impulsively bought this without having heard it before because 'Seven' was really good- 'Ma Zone' is even better. Now, I've recommended this album to friends and family (grandma and hip young sister alike), representing a diverse range of music tastes and everyone's been bewitched. Great blending of vocal harmonies, expressive instrumentation and funky beats."
Beyond Simple Classification
Ibochild | Los Angeles, CA USA | 06/28/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"A MA ZONE is definitely the most mainstream of their albums so far, but it doesn't completely stray from the more vocally driven sound of their earlier albums. It's also arguably their most eclectic set to date."Call Waiting" sounds like a perfect James Bond theme song with an Afrocentric twist. It's also a good showcase for Marie Daulne's passionate vocals.For fans of Zap Mama's early work, "Gissié" is a real gem. The vocal interplay on the track is really nice. "M'Toto" is another fine track with playful vocals that sound like they are singing a nursery rhyme."'Allo 'Allo" has a mellow, but funky vibe that for obvious reasons sounds like a reworking of Manu Dibango's 1970's classic "Soul Makossa." "Kemake" is also very funky with a serious James Brown vibe.Generally, all of the tracks are at least good, if not great. Adventurous hip-hop fans should really like this album. Fans of their a capella sound might be a bit disappointed. For most broadminded music fans, this CD is definitely worth a serious listen. It's better than 99% of the stuff you hear on commercial music stations.Check it out."