The Bottom Line
- Chic and sultry vocals and rhythms.
- Impressive lineup of guest musicians.
- Nice balance of African rhythms and Western pop stylings.
- "Inspirational" lyrics feel schmaltzy after a few listens.
- Marie Daulne's attempts at musical intimacy come off as somewhat self-indulgent.
- Michael Franti, Meshell Ndegeocello and others make guest appearances.
- Marie Daulne's vocal prowess is an impressive feature.
- Excessively motivational lyrics can be vaguely annoying.
Guide Review - Zap Mama - Supermoon
Ironic, then, that Zap Mama's newest release, "Supermoon", feels somewhat contrived and formulaic. Daulne's attempts at making an intimate and engaged album fell short, and the album feels pretty much like generic Afropop - I feel like I've heard the whole thing before. Not helping the situation are the excessively feel-good lyrics (all penned by Daulne) that sound pretty nice at first, but after a couple of listens, take on a vaguely cheesy and preachy tone. She does, admittedly, have a true poet's sense of twists of phrase and metaphors, in English and French.
That's not to say that it's not a good, listenable album on some level - the beats are great, and some songs (particularly the acoustic-guitar driven title track) are melodically beautiful, and Daulne's dynamic vocals leave one wanting more. I just wish she wasn't singing in languages I speak.