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Zoot Woman

Zoot Woman

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Album Review

It's 1981. An American grade-schooler brings his copies of Hall & Oates' Private Eyes and the Human League's Dare to show and tell. This results in routine beatdowns at the hands of brutish Mötley Crüe-loving classmates, to the point where he decides to feign interest in music that is less dangerous. It's a necessary playground survival tactic. Thankfully, the three members of Zoot Woman — who were all born around the same time as our hapless victim — probably never went through something traumatic like that. They're from various parts of Europe, not the States, which means that their taste for less-macho music was more acceptable. And now that taste has carried their group into a second album, one that's as tenaciously tied to their childhood favorites as the debut. Despite apparent decades-old inspirations, Zoot Woman aren't necessarily attempting to replicate those records; they've also stayed up on all forms of dance-pop throughout the intervening years, and you can tell. (If you need outside evidence, look no further than member Stuart Price's mixes as Jacques Lu Cont, which have featured Mantronix, Chaka Khan, Junior Sanchez, Chicken Lips, and Ladytron.) Nothing on this second album is as irresistible as "It's Automatic" or "Living in a Magazine," two alternate-reality number ones from the debut, but there's no less than five contenders for the Top 20 of that same chart here. The band's got the whole package, from top-shelf songcraft to soft synth-led hooks to dancefloor-ready rhythms (the bassist must know each and every Peter Hook line inside out) — all the way down to the constant flitting between exuberance and melancholia. If a couple more American bands could only shed the put-on quasi-industrial elements from their otherwise synth-pop-oriented approach, we just might have our own equivalent of Zoot Woman to be proud of. Unfortunately, those bands are probably still scarred from treatment like the kind mentioned up top.

Customer Reviews

Worth every penny!

Like the name of one of their tracks suggests, this album is a true gem, and I grow more fond of it each time I play it. Zoot Woman's music is upbeat without being cloying or steeped in mindless electronic repetition. I listen to both albums when I want to chill out or even as workout music... their songs are that flexible in their appeal and scope. On this album, take a listen to "Gem" and "Taken It All". Both are slick, catchy tunes with endless replay value. The 30 seconds afforded here will give you a good taste, but on "Gem" in particular, the sample cuts off before it really starts cooking. I listened to this album before their initial release and like it only slightly more than their self-titled debut, but both are truly solid and fun and definitely worth adding to your collection if you like upbeat, sizzling rock/pop tunes with layers of cool electronic texture. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we haven't heard the last of them.

AWESUM!

its even bettr then the 1st album......the best track here is "Taken It All".

A soundtrack for your life

I was living in Hamburg for a brief while, and heard these guys at the Sofa Bar. You know when you hear something and it just clicks? That's Zoot Woman. Sexy, spartan, and heartfelt. Away from the one you love? These guys might just make you miss them more.

Biography

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '00s

The sharply dressed Zoot Woman is a three-man pop group that owes as much to Hall & Oates as Pet Shop Boys. Stuart Price (bass) met brothers Johnny (guitar, vocals) and Adam Blake (keyboards) while at school in Reading, England. Though the group's basic setup is much like a rock band, electronics play a significant role in their sound. They began recording during the late '90s but didn't make their full-length debut until 2001; signed to Wall of Sound, Living in a Magazine came first, while a...
Full Bio
Zoot Woman, Zoot Woman
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