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Zucchini Drive, "Being Kurtwood"

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Frequent collaborators Tom de Geeter, aka Siaz, and Marcus Graap team up again for their first album as Zucchini Drive. Assisted by a different producer on every track and a revolving door of musicians, this smorgasbord of talent concocts hip hop cuisine that’s uniformly good but rarely excellent.

 

2nd rec

Having so many cooks in the kitchen takes its toll on this disc since the guests often leave a bigger impression than do Siaz and Graap, who struggle to arrive at a distinctive style. The disc comes across as more of a singles collection than a flowing album because of the sheer variety of ideas vying for attention. Making things even more problematic is that the lyrics and delivery are standard fare, displaying little of the linguistic virtuosity that gives hip hop its power.

The melancholic postrock of Giardini di Miro is all over “Painting Things in Harsh Colours,” yet here Siaz and Graap are at their most deliberate. Although approached differently, the same mood bleeds into “Sombre City,” aided by the vocals and guitar of Markus Acher from The Notwist. The album comes alive with “Easy Tiger,” but guest emcee Bleubird clearly steals the show with his confident skills. Things go better for the duo when the supporting music is pared down like on “Knucklesandwich” and “Vagabondage,” bringing them to the fore and giving them more room to work. “1000 Streets Beneath the Sky,” by contrast, has nice musical passages but they shift so frequently that they ultimately distract from the vocals. “Earth to Kurtwood” might be the album’s best track because it finds a good balance between engaging music and effective vocals. They get close on “Banned From Poland,” but the strong electronic presence that B. Fleischmann brings is somewhat incongruous among the other tracks. “Bonafied Gambler” is decent but unfortunately it’s spoiled by the many raucous “Yeah!”s and “Come on!”s in the background. “Good Music & Indian Food” is a wistful bookend to the opener, though it’s not enough to overcome the feeling that the album is all over the place yet doesn’t go anywhere.

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Last Updated on Tuesday, 08 August 2006 23:41  


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