watcha listenin to, crispy? zz ward's new album the storm. she will sell millions, or at any rate she ought to.
(that fantastic negrito is fantastic.) alright, first off, i love the genre location: i'd call it roots pop. there are all sorts of trad elements, including soul, blues, early hip hop, perhaps just a touch of country here and there. this is how i think popular music should develop, venerating the tradition and using it, but also pushing it forward, so it sounds like now. i'd compare zz's approach to, say, robert cray in the '80s: oh that is definitely the soul blues, and that is definitely right now too, and it sounds great on the radio. there are all kinds of contemporary production touches on the album, and they are not at all in tension with the songs or the voice: the stuff sounds great.
zz is about the singingest motherfucker you ever heard, and to some extent she emulates adele's approach: big love and heartbreak songs, showstopping voice. i love the timbre, which can be rough or smooth, flying or growling. her first album when the casket drops, is also wonderful.
i'd say the new album is a bit more commercial, and also the lyrics are less interesting (here we've got 'you better do it like it's 25 to life'), which is part of the headed-to-platinum approach. i've got no objection to commercial, however, and i say she should just go right on and you should buy her albums. that makes sense, because she has yet to record a clunker.