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Shmat's Reviews
For more reviews, please visit Palebear which is where all future Shmat reviews will appear (as of March 2006).

Zack Orr
The Unstoppable Lift (CD)

The ability that Zack Orr has to jam in super long lines of lyrics was the first thing that struck me upon listening to his The Unstoppable Lift CD. I usually don't listen to this type of music so I'm sort of out of my league to describe what seems to be semi scat jazz meets standard rhythm and blues meets earnest pop rap hop. Really, if there's one nice thing to be said about the music is that it's all over the map.

The collection starts out pleasantly with the nightclub - influenced "Already Red Enough" but I really couldn't get into any of the songs after that. Well, it could be just my current predisposition to abhor songs that have the word "Funk" in the title that turned me off to the next track, "Funk for Breakfast". Neither was I too enamored of "Jack Horner" which is a nice enough pop song, but at 7 minutes long my attention just refused to be held. The ending of "Machines" was for me the best part of the song, with digital skronkings and weird samples gradually taking over the reins of the sped up track. The home-of-the-free "Amsterdam" was again a bit too long for such a slow song and the national anthem like a cappella in the beginning was lost on me. I could dig the initial part of "Sounds Like The Future To Me", with it's slow 7th chords reminding me of a Red House Painters song, but I could really do without those extra sharp hi-hat drum hits.

For me, this CD has a lot of elements in it that were a painful reminder why major radio is absolute shite. That said, this is not the normal type of music I listen to. And if I try to put myself in the frame of mind of the folks who usually get their rocks off to KIIS or KPWR, I believe this album is a cut above what they might play on those stations just because it is at least inventive and a bit different. Just not my current cup o' tea.

- review by BY (6.30.03)        

Zack Orr

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