Mark Zonda is now working on his second experimantal lo-fi album. The project goes under the working title of "February", practicing with his band Tiny Tide ( www.studiosonda.com/tinytide )
Here's some past reviews:
Colorful pop-music bubbles (“Yuriko has come to town”, “The Blank”, “Baby May B./Like the wine”) which float in the air, bringing along with them echoes of The Beatles, Magazine and Blur. Shreds of the most detached and cold new-wave (“Just do it”, “Michael, what’s the problem?”) spread throughout the album (Midge Ure’s Ultravox?). And, to make it all more appealing, some always trendy nice kitsch melodies.
“Feel the Blank” really works in the right way, even in its most banal moments, when it imitates Cesare Cremonini’s (is this his name?) Lunapop, throwing me into panic and terror… but don’t worry: it’s a mere appearance, and there are fortunately very few common points.
Simplicity and originality are typical on the planet Mark Zonda, light years far away from the deafening crossover that dominates uncontested the world’s hitparades - a formula which is as old as affective.
Maybe it lacks a single, that famous “great song” that in each self-respecting pop album delights the listener. Not so bad: in the end you keep the sensation to have listened to a nice album, and… beware of Lunapop, they’re always in ambush!
In his web-site Mark Zonda tells us about his passion for concept albums, i.e. those albums which are not simple collections of songs not bound to one another, but gatherings of pieces which narrate a story. This kind of album was on the wave at the beginning of the 70s, and bands such as Yes, Genesis and King Crimson have been epoch-makers thanks to records performed in this way.
<em>The musical field in which this album moves is not, however, the one of progressive rock: a wide use of electronics reminds of bands such as Kraftwerk, Tangerine Dream and Pink Floyd in their most obscure performances. The narrated story is the one of Yuriko, a character that “stands for youth, for that one single event in life that messes up all your daily routine”.
The purpose is praiseworthy, and I must say that lyrics are very interesting. The musical part, instead, is very weighted down, and the overall listening is definitely hard, even if some songs, taken separately, have nice and appealing melodies. Moreover, echoes of The Beatles, Elvis Costello and j-pop emerge here and there.
It’s not an album to suit all tastes, then, but for those who want to try very unusual sounds.
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