Elizabeth & the Catapult

The Other Side of Zero

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Elizabeth Ziman could pass for Sara Bareilles’ twin -- both have strong alto voices, an “anything goes” approach to pop music, and the ability to turn heartbreak into something tuneful. There’s certainly plenty of heartbreak on The Other Side of Zero, which doubles as Elizabeth & the Catapult’s second full-length album and first full-fledged breakup record. Fresh from a botched romance, Ziman shines a spotlight on her darker side, resulting in a set list that’s considerably more ballad-heavy than 2009’s zippy Taller Children. That doesn’t mean she’s downright morose; at her darkest, Ziman channels the influence of ‘70s singer/songwriters, meaning she focuses more on casting a mood than feeling sorry for herself. When the tempo picks back up, though, Elizabeth & the Catapult sound as peppy as they did one year prior, whether they’re layering acoustic guitars with kitchen-sink percussion on “You and Me” or duetting with songwriter Jeff Taylor on the tribal-pop number “Go Away My Lover.” Those speedy songs are the exception on this album, not the rule, but they’re still the highlight, balancing Ziman’s ruminations on a love gone wrong with something much brighter.

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