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New World

The Zombies

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Album Review

Calling New World (1993) a Zombies effort is as erroneous as portraying No Quarter: Jimmy Page & Robert Plant (2001) as a Led Zeppelin album, as in both cases, principal components are glaringly absent. On this disc, co-founders Rod Argent (vocals/keyboards) and Paul Atkinson (guitar/vocals) are listed not as part of the band, but rather "special guests." Present and accounted for from the initial combo are Chris White (bass/vocals), Colin Blunstone (vocals), and Hugh Grundy (drums). Although White and Blunstone attempt to pick up the slack in the wake of Argent's minimal involvement, their choice of Sebastian Santa Maria (keyboards/guitar/vocals) is a less than suitable substitute for the missing co-founder. Not surprisingly, while both White and Blunstone are excellent songwriters, much of the material lacks the quirky and jazzy influence that Argent infused into the Zombies' 'sound'. That said, the cuts on New World (1991) are not inferior — either in composition or execution. They simply are not the Zombies. The opener and title track, "New World (My America)" is one of White's better cuts, with a strong backbeat and the typical tension and release that became trademarks of his vintage sound. "You Make Me Feel Good," "I Love You," and "Beechwood Park" — White's marquee noir-edged pop style conjured up on "Lula Lula" similarly hearkens back to "Let Me Be," with understated and intimate vocals. An alternate version of the former is available as a bonus side, under what is presumably the working name "Hold My Hand." The Blunstone contributions are equally enjoyable, with the ballad "Losing You," and the mid-tempo rocker, "Love Conquers All" his strongest showings. Casual enthusiasts should note the remake of "Time of the Season," which is the only number to feature Argent. The update can barely be measured against the original, and pales in comparison. In 2003, New World debuted on CD with a pair of supplementary sides, the previously mentioned "Hold My Hand," as well as "When My Boat Comes In," another White-penned song.

Biography

Formed: 1962 in St. Albans, Hertfordshire, Englan

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Aside from the Beatles and perhaps the Beach Boys, no mid-'60s rock group wrote melodies as gorgeous as those of the Zombies. Dominated by Colin Blunstone's breathy vocals, choral backup harmonies, and Rod Argent's shining jazz- and classical-influenced organ and piano, the band sounded utterly unique for their era. Indeed, their material — penned by either Argent or guitarist Chris White, with unexpected shifts from major to minor keys — was perhaps too adventurous for the singles market....
Full bio

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