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Zapp II

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Album Review

Building upon the unprecedented success of Zapp's self-titled debut and group leader Roger Troutman's solo debut, The Many Facets of Roger, along with those two album's hit singles — "More Bounce to the Ounce" and "I Heard It Through the Grapevine," respectively — Troutman returned in 1982 with Zapp II, a strong album again propelled by a mammoth single, "Dance Floor." Outside of the infectious single, which topped the R&B singles chart, Troutman stuck to his patented formula of vocoder-laden funk on each of the album's other songs. There isn't anything new here that wasn't on Zapp or The Many Facets of Roger, just more of the same; of course, this isn't exactly a bad thing, as Troutman retreads familiar ground effectively. At this point in his career, Troutman wasn't short on ideas and was able to inventively lay down dense, carefree funk with ease — in sum, there's literally no filler here, impressive when you consider his prolific output during this era. Not quite as fresh as the first Zapp album but still a great album for its era.

Biography

Formed: 1978 in Hamilton, OH

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

One of the most underrated funk groups of the 1980s, Zapp revolutionized the computer pop of electro with their trademark vocoder talk boxes and bumping grooves, emulating the earthier side of Prince and Cameo, with a leader in Roger Troutman who was more than efficient at polished production. The family group, with brothers Roger, Lester, Larry, and Tony Troutman, grew up in Hamilton, OH, influenced by hometown heroes the Ohio Players as well as Parliament and other funk groups. Tony was the first...
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Zapp II, Zapp
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