World & Latin

VOICES Notes and news on World & Latin releases

Something Heavenly from Zap Mama

04 AUG 07 JOHN C. BRUENING

Supermoon, Zap Mama's maiden voyage on the Heads Up label, is loaded with infectious riffs, clever lyrical hooks and compelling rhythms that borrow from every possible source: jazz, pop, funk, reggae, soul and more. At the center of it all is frontwoman Marie Daulne, weaving together a host of stylistic and cultural layers with a vocal style that is sometimes quirky, most times seductive and always compelling. As she has in the past, she has surrounded herself this time with a formidable team: drummer Tony Allen; bassist Meshell Ndegeocello and Will Lee; guitarists David Gilmore and Michael Franti; pianists Leon Pendarvis and Robbie Kondor, percussionist Bashiri Johnson and many more.

The overriding message driving this 11-track set stems from Daulne's unique perspective on celebrity and celebrity worship. The title track -- and indeed, the album as a whole -- offer up an insightful commentary on a culture obsessed with superstars and idols. "People identify themselves through a media image, a certain kind of look, a certain kind of artificial personality," she said. "I say let's be ourselves, and let's create a word for what it means to be ourselves. A 'supermoon' is a unique person. You can be a supermoon if you follow your own desires and pursue the things that you were born to do. To be a supermoon is to be true to yourself and others." Supermoon hits stores Aug. 7.