Zapp Vibe (1989)


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Track Listing:

Ooh Baby Baby {Warren Moore, William Robinson}  3:38
I Play The Talk Box {Roger Troutman, Larry Troutman}  4:23
Stop That {R Troutman, L Troutman}  3:59
Fire {Marvin Pierce, Marshall Jones, Leroy Bonner, Clarence Satchell, 
 James Williams, Billy Beck, R Middlebrooks}  3:38
Been This Way Before {R Troutman, L Troutman}  3:58  
Back to Bass-iks {R Troutman, L Troutman}  4:51
Jesse Jackson {R Troutman, L Troutman, Zapp Troutman, B Beck}  4:56
Ain't The Thing To Do {R Troutman, L Troutman, Z Troutman, B Beck}  3:45
Sad-Day Moaning {R Troutman, L Troutman}  3:49
Rock Star {R Troutman, L Troutman}  4:01
Jake E Stanstill {R Troutman}  3:37


Background Vocals: Billy Beck, Toika Troutman, Zapp Troutman, Dick Smith,
 Nicole Cottom, Roger Troutman, Ray Davis, Dale DeGroat, Mark Thomas,
 Aaron Blackmon, Robert Smith, Shirley Murdock
Bass: Roger Troutman
Horns: Carl Cowen
Congas: Lester Troutman
Drums: Lester Troutman
Keyboards: Billy Beck, Roger Troutman, Zapp Troutman, Sherman Fleetwood
Percussion: Lester Troutman
Lead/Rhythm Guitar: Roger Troutman
Vibraphone: Johnny Lytle

Review:  RC: **1/2  MM: **


RC: The last Zapp album is wildly uneven, with some hideous synth-ballads and some fun covers, funkers and tributes. The sound is more hollow than ever, with too much electronic mishmash for my tastes. Still, there are enough good songs for enthusiasts of Zapp and Roger to pick this one up.

"Ooh Baby Baby" is an awful ballad, syrupy and synth-laden, like most of Zapp's ballads. "I Play The Talkbox" is a ridiculous rap song that's actually kind of fun, though overlong. "Stop That" is better, a funk song that dips into an almost bluesy feel. "Fire" is an amusing cover of the Ohio Players classic with a siren intro. The song is pure Zapp, with the classic Roger guitar jangle. "Been This Way Before" is another wretched ballad, way too syrupy. "Back To Bass-iks" is a great track, a tribute to Parliament singer Ray Davis. The intro has Ray singing on a streetcorner, with his parents calling him inside, worrying that he might get arrested if he keeps hanging out with George Clinton! He keeps doo-wopping all the way through, singing his parts to "Give Up The Funk" and "Atomic Dog". "Jesse Jackson" is a classy tribute, with a nice horn intro and a solid rhythm track. "Ain't The Thing..." is a typically hollow ballad with good singing. "Sad-Day Moaning" is some Zapp-blues fun, with a song based on a classic Jimmy Reed riff. "Rock Star" is a sanctimonious cautionary tale that has some deep bass playing. "Jake E..." is the obligatory jazz cut, and is pretty good.

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