Zap Mama


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On their second release, Sabsylma, the all-female band Zap Mama offers more of their original sound -- a cappella vocals joined by exotic and worldly rhythms. Although they've been compared to Bobby McFerrin in the past, there is really no one out there today who sounds the way Zap Mama does. By bridging the tribal sounds of Africa with more conventional music, Zap Mama is ideal for music fans curious about giving world music a listen. The album kicks off with "Furahi," a group chant/singalong, which eventually leads into gentle music and perfectly blended vocalizations. The title track shows how the quintet can (amazingly) use their voices as rhythmic/percussive instruments, with almost all the beats being sung rather than played. But the best and most interesting track has to be "India." The group follows a male Indian singer at the beginning in a call-and-chant setup, but it's not long before the group takes over the song themselves, proving that they can masterfully handle just about any style of foreign music. Recommended to fans of great vocal work, regardless of genre.

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