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Da' Zoo

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Album Review

It would be easy to dismiss the Puerto Rican quartet Da' Zoo as mere Black Eyed Peas imitators with a Latin lilt. Granted, they do share a similar lineup (a couple rapper/singers and a girl to sing the hooks), a similarly slick and totally Pop-with R&B additives-musical approach, and write the same kind of songs that (usually) hit the spot right between naggingly catchy and completely nagging that the BEP specialize in. What Da' Zoo add to the BEP's formula on their self-titled debut album is a Day-Glo™ sense of fun and frolic that places the band closer to LEN or Fannypack on the easygoing good-times spectrum. They sound like they are having fun making the music instead of working hard so that you will have fun listening to it. That's a trap that snares many pop projects, but not Da' Zoo. They romp through frothy jams ("Cuchi Cuchi," "Ponte Ready"), teen pop love songs ("TU," "Chitu") and joyous pop/rockers (the positively giddy "Pajamas") like goofy kids without a care in the world. Even the ballads like "Otro Love" and "Cerce de Mi" have a bounce to them that keeps things light and enjoyable. Anyone looking for social relevance or emotional depth is in the wrong place, but if you want non-stop silliness and carefree entertainment, Da' Zoo should be one of your first stops. The only thing that holds the album back from greatness is the lack of a huge song like "Steal My Sunshine" or "Camel Toe." Still, it's an impressive debut that could teach the band they imitate a few things about how to make a pop record that really pops.

Biography

Genre: Pop in Spanish

Years Active: '00s, '10s

With a diverse set of influences, the Puerto Rican foursome known as Da' Zoo may come off as a Latin alternative to the Black Eyed Peas, but their campy outfits and sunshine-bright songs show the additional influence of '90s dance-pop groups like Deee-Lite and LEN. Charly "Zoo" Rodríguez had been playing with the band Marco, while Freddie "Yo-Fred" Lugo was in Sí Señor before the duo came together and began imagining a new project. After recruiting Raul "Raggi" Quezada and Elizabeth "Eli-Joe" Fuentes,...
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Da' Zoo, Da Zoo
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