D'ZRT

Project

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Project, the third album by the reigning boy band of Portugal, D'ZRT, is short on substance but wide-ranging in style and seldom dull. Four years after Paulo Vintém, Angélico Vieira, Vítor Fonseca, and Edmundo Vieira rose to fame in association with the teen-oriented television series Morangos com Açúcar, they're no longer the hot new thing. They may have topped the Portuguese charts with their first two albums, D'ZRT (2005) and Original (2006), but in the teen pop world, what's in one day is often out the next. The similarly fashioned girl group, Just Girls, were spun off from Morangos com Açúcar just like D'ZRT was, for instance, and the girls' rise to chart-topping fame more or less mirrored that of the boys, albeit a couple years later. In the meantime, D'ZRT was put on ice while Angélico went solo. His full-length album debut, Angélico (2008), was a blockbuster success, and the question inevitably arose as to whether or not D'ZRT would split up. Project finds the quartet regrouped and unafraid to try new styles. There aren't a lot of songs, a mere ten originals and a remix, and some of them are slight, but at least one is a winner, the lead single "Feeling," a rhythmic electro-rocker with a melodic chorus. "Feeling" is to Project what "Para Mim Tanto Faz" was to D'ZRT and "Verão Azul" was to Original, that is, an undeniable smash hit that more or less makes the album. Project unfortunately doesn't boast any other songs as infectious as "Feeling." There are some good songs here and there like "Enquanto Não Vencer," the hard-rocking album opener, and "Onde Estás," a tender ballad that builds to symphonic heights, but nothing that comes close to "Feeling." Fortunately, every song on Project is interesting in terms of style, drawing from pop, rock, electro, and urban to varying degrees and often mixing electric guitar riffs with electronic dance beats.

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