Eddie Jobson

Zinc (The Green Album)

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After his stint with Jethro Tull and as the wave of new romantic pop groups were taking control of the airwaves, Eddie Jobson entered the studio to record his first solo album, known as Zinc, although it was meant to be titled "The Green Album" and billed to the band name "Zinc" -- the record company messed things up quite a bit. This is an honest effort of when-prog rock-meets-synth pop. The songs are often better than Drama-era Yes and turn-of-the-'80s FM or Saga. In terms of writing and production, it sounds like Jobson is emulating Rupert Hine, whose art-pop gem Immunity came out two years before Zinc. Jobson handles all keyboards, vocals, and electric violin. Alon Oleartchik and Jerry Watts split bass duties, Michael Barsimanto supplies very early-'80s-sounding drum tracks (cold and square). Nick Moroch, Cary Sharaf, Michael Cuneo and Gentle Giant's Gary Green appear here and there on electric guitar. Jobson's lyrics are poor and his attempt to tie them together with a "green" theme doesn't help. Luckily, the music is better, with "Green Face" and "Resident" standing out as two of the best synth pop songs produced in that era. The second half of the album gets weaker as ideas run thin, but the first half offers a very nice blend of pop songs and instrumentals. Jobson's high-pitched voice is nothing to write home about, but he conceals it with the favorite gizmo of the time: the vocoder. Of course, the album sounds very dated, but collectors will find it has its moments.

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