Babylon Zoo

The Boy With the X-Ray Eyes

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For some reason -- perhaps it was because it was used in a television commercial -- Babylon Zoo's "Spaceman" became the biggest British single of the first quarter of 1996. A bizarre, tuneless collage of hip-hop rhythms, techno keyboards and alternative guitars, the song sounded distinctive, but it didn't have any tangible hook to make it memorable. And Babylon Zoo's debut album, The Boy With the X-Ray Eyes, suffers from the same problem. Throughout the album, Jas Mann -- who, for all intents and purposes, is Babylon Zoo -- tries a vast array of modern rock styles, attempting to fuse them together into a daring, progressive whole. However, none of his songs ever gel and Mann only sounds pretentious, not ambitious.

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