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Zaritza

Zaritza

Review by Gary Hill

The music on this set is a bit hard to nail down. Zaritza herself plays keys and handles the vocals. Those vocals are probably the one unifying element. She says that Queen is her favorite band. While this doesn't sound like Queen, it does encompass the kind of wide range of sounds that band had. This runs the gamut from hard rockers, even leaning toward progressive rock at times to modern pop music and much more. While I'm not wholly sold on everything here, the song "Talk Show Host" makes it all worthwhile as far as I'm concerned.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2018  Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
That Girl
This comes in feeling rather electronic. It works toward something related to modern pop music. The vocal performance is the most memorable part of this sonic tapestry. The music does rise up toward rocking territory at times, though.
Heart-Shaped Box

Piano and other elements create the backdrop for this mellow cover of the Nirvana song. Well, I suppose "cover" isn't the right word. This is more of a reinvention. This is slow and quite pretty. It makes me think of Tori Amos in some ways.

Diseased
Now, here we get something completely different. This is a hard rocker with a bit of a punk edge. I suppose the best comparison would be to early Blondie. That said, there is a modern sound to this, too.
Flashing Lights
Starting with more of the electronic styled stuff, this works out to a hard rocking sound that's part AOR and part epic metal. While this is not metal, it's also not far removed from the kind of things bands like Lacuna Coil do.
Somewhere In Between
The AOR rock sound is merged with something closer to a standard modern pop sound here. This is a catchy piece that is mainstream, but also rather meaty.
Walk Away
A mainstream rocker, this is solid, but not one of the highlights of the set. Still, it works.
Rocket Girl
An electronic styled pop number, this is a lot like the kind of sound that opened the album. It's a nice change from the tracks we've had more recently in that it brings some variety. The choruses are powered up and quite interesting.
Burn Into Me
Symphonic elements, piano and more serve as the musical backdrop at the start. This is a pretty balladic piece early with the vocals really bringing the charm. It gets into more mainstream rocking territory as it reaches upward to soar.
Talk Show Host
Atmospheric electronics serve as the backdrop for the first vocals of this. It works out to more of a melodic keyboard arrangement from there. This cut earns a parental advisory. It gets into more of a song oriented approach. There is a bit of a blues rock element with a progressive rock edge to it here. This is possibly my favorite cut here. In fact, this one is worth the price of admission all by itself. It's a bit odd, but also incredibly compelling.
Last Night
A mellower, keyboard oriented cut, this is closer to an adult contemporary ballad. It's essentially a power ballad, really. It's good, but not one of the highlights.
Crossroads
Zaritza hails from Russia. I'm guessing that the lyrics on this are in Russian. This is a pretty number with a lot of emotion built into it despite the fact that I don't understand the lyrics. Symphonic elements lend more power to the piece.
 
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