I do not want to give the impression that I am not a fan of artist reinvention, because, that would be inaccurate. However, I don't think I feel comfortable, as a fan of Zap Mama, with the direction I see her going into with this new video "Drifting," which is retro at best and uninspired throughout. While Maxwell gave us retro visually in his last video "Fistful of Tears," the music stayed true to his sound while bringing us something new to enjoy. I don't feel like Zap Mama stays true to her sound in this clip with G.Love. Call me sentimental, but I miss the quality of freedom that was rampant in previous works.
After the bounce
I came across Zap Mama in 2002 via the group's 1999 release A Ma Zone, which was this wildly intoxicating ride that fused sounds that weren't normally mixed and executed so expertly before. Later, the 2004 cut "Sweet Melodie" was an amazing treat with its simplistic rendering that still incorporated Zap Mama's trademark Congolese-inspired polyphonic melodies that are sprinkled throughout her songs. While you hear what sounds like grunts and moans, you don't hear the sprinkle I'm talking about in "Drifting" and the missing texture is noticeable. Belgian native Marie Daulne has always been the heart and soul of Zap Mama, which started as a group but now counts Daulne as its sole member. And, I suspect, that the new direction has more to do with Daulne possibly wanting to begin a new brand as an artist, and I get that. But this video and this song, I don't get. Watch it and tell us what you think.