The New Zapp IV U (1985)


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Track Listing:

It Doesn't Really Matter {Roger Troutman, Zapp Troutman}  5:28
Computer Love {R Troutman, Z Troutman}  4:51
Itchin' For Your Twitchin' {Z Troutman}  4:05
Radio People {Larry Troutman, Z Troutman}  5:55
I Only Have Eyes For You {Al Dubin, Henry Warren}  4:45
Rock 'N' Roll {L Troutman, Z Troutman}  4:51
Cas-Ta-Spellome {Z Troutman, L Troutman}  3:33
Make Me Feel Good {L Troutman, Roger Troutman}  5:17
Ja Ready To Rock {L Troutman, R Troutman}  4:18


Producer: Roger Troutman

Vocals: Roger Troutman, Zapp Troutman, Gregory Jackson
Background Vocals: Ray Davis, Zapp Troutman, Gregory Jackson, Bobby Glover,
 Jannetta Boyce, Dale Degroat, Aaron Blackmon, Robert Jones, Donna Sloss,
 Rhonda Stevens, Billy Beck, Shirley Murdock, Wanda Rash, Charlie Wilson
Keyboard: Bernie Worrell, Zapp Troutman, Gregory Jackson, Dale Degroat,
 Billy Beck
Drums: Lester Troutman, Damian Black
Bass: Zapp Troutman, Roger Troutman, Aaron Blackmon
Horns: Carl Cowen, Jerome Derrickson, Michael Warren, Robert Jones
Lead, Rhythm Guitar: Roger Troutman, Aaron Blackmon
Percussion: Larry Troutman, Lester Troutman, Robert "Kuumba" Jones

 "Computer Love"
Lead Vocals: Roger Troutman
Background Vocals: Shirley Murdock, Charlie Wilson
Talkbox, Guitar, Bass: Roger Troutman
Keyboards: Roger Troutman, Dale DeGroat
Drum Programming: Lester Troutman, Dale DeGroat

Review: RC: **  MM: ***


RC: Zapp begins a downward slide here, with their already polished sound getting slickified to the point where it's no longer sticky funk. In other words, the same affliction pops up on here as on other mid-80's funk: relying too much on drum machines, synthesizers and other artificial sweeteners. Worse, Roger's funky guitar playing is pushed way in the background. While there are still a few funky tracks here and there, and the hit ballad "Computer Love" is artificial on purpose, most of the dance songs are junk. I'd recommend it for die-hard Zapp & Roger fans only.

"It Doesn't Really Matter" is a tribute song to early funk and R&B. Too bad it doesn't sound a bit like them, with the predominance of keyboards and the overall hollow sound. "Computer Love" is a moderately clever ballad about finding love on a computer screen. "Itchin' For..." is a Prince-ripoff that at least has some decent bass playing and a good guitar solo. "Radio People" is more toothless dance music, which is too bad, because there could have been a nice tune in there. "I Only Have..." is another of Zapp's demented covers, which is so different from the original crooner's tune that it has some charm. "Rock N Roll" has nothing to with rock, funk or soul, despite its annoying namedropping of assorted rock greats. It's just more drum machine trash. "Cas-Ta-Spellonme" is a solid, funky song, with nice fuzz guitar. "Make Me Feel Good" is another keeper, with an extended instrumental opening that sounds like Booker T and the MG's, and some good singing later on. "Ja Ready..." is a bizarre tune directly inspired by hip-hop of the time.

This album is in print and should be easy to find.