19 Nov 2017
UsernamePassword

Remember Me? | Join | Recover
Click here to sign in via social networking

Manzo - Album Review: Outsider

12 Sep 2017 // A review by butch181

With minimal introduction, the new Manzo album begins with St Helens Overture; a lovely, calm, delicate piano piece. A rather impressive beginning, with a gentle crescendo, showing great use of refrain leading into the rest of the album. It does, misrepresent the album to an extent, as it leaves you caught off-guard as it moves on to the second track Monochrome Men - A Medley.

Extending over nine minutes in length, with four guest vocalists/musicians, the track is nothing if not ambitious. Transitioning from a synth dance pop track combined with hip-hop vocals, into a gluggy rock piece with some superb Santana and Pink Floyd-esque solos, and even beyond that. Up until the halfway mark, the vocals are decidedly out-of-place, resulting from the production of the song rather than the mixing of the genres. The vocals have impeccable clarity, which works great for discerning lyrical comprehension, but it also highlights any inconsistencies in tone, and the coherence separates the vocals from the music to the point that it does not feel like it is part of the same piece. After the first four minutes, the track finds a style that works and gets a nice balance for the remainder of the track.

Instrumentally, the music is moving. Manzo has an eclectic, experimental style, combining a variety of instruments into vocal genres that are out-of-the-norm. The timing and instrument choices are spot-on and create a unique aggregate that is invigorating to listen to. As an instrumental album, this would be up there as one of the best I have heard in recent times. Unfortunately, the vocal aspect of the album is the downfall for the initial tracks. With such a variety of song styles and vocalists, the album requires a level of cohesiveness between vocals and music. A number of moments in the album exhibited vocal irregularities in tone and key, with the clarity of the production placing the spotlight on them. Allowing the vocals to step back and giving the instruments more of the forefront would have benefited the overall mix.

Highlights on the album were a cover of the 2005 Depeche Mode single, Precious, from the album Playing the Angel, (an upbeat but melancholic track which displayed simplicity and vocal style reminiscent of Blondie), and Sacra (a haunting beautiful track that needs no lyrics), but the standout track is that of Loco. With a piano/violin introduction, and stark, polarizing spoken vocals, the track comes off like a modern Pink Floyd; erratic, unconventional and distinctive. An unexpected treat.

There is a lot of potential here, with many good tracks. More time collaborating with the right vocalists, and a better mix when producing is all that is missing to take the album from good to great.


Review written by Alex Moulton

About Manzo

Manzo is the musical alias of outsider visual artist and frustrated public servant, Alan Hodgetts. Alan has never been shy about experimenting, using any medium or channel to communicate his ideas. Music gives a popular platform to share his observations and social commentary, whilst providing greater opportunity for creative collaboration.

Outsider is Manzo's second studio album. It features a range of guest vocalists and musicians from the Wellington region.
Very topical themes of corporate greed, politics, masculinity and social pressure, are woven with tales of loss and love, but in an ultimately uplifting album full of humour and hope.
Infusing pop, rock, electronic, classical, hip hop and dance, along with some blatant ‘80s and ‘90s vibes, the music reflects Manzo’s broad musical influences, and also his refusal to be pigeon holed and constrained by genre.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Manzo

Releases

Outsider
Year: 2017
Type: Album
Ultramarine
Year: 2016
Type: Album

Other Reviews By butch181

Gig Review: Written By Wolves @ Kings Arms Tavern, Auckland - 3/11/2017
11 Nov 2017 // by butch181
Heading into the Kings Arms Tavern and immediately you can tell there is something different. It doesn’t take long to see what everyone is looking at and discussing; more lighting, an extended stage with a “runway”, additional floor toms on the side-of-stage, and what appeared to be some gas cannons attached to some rather large CO2 bottles.
Read More...
Gig Review: Pennywise @ The Studio, Auckland 07/11/2017
09 Nov 2017 // by butch181
Turning up to The Studio venue, and you can’t help but be impressed at how well things had been put together to this point. Bringing an international band to NZ, and selling out a venue with a capacity of somewhere around 1000-1200, on a Tuesday night, with the gig announcement only two weeks before the show was penned down to happen.
Read More...
Gig Review: Apollo SteamTrain @ RockFest 2017, Totara Street, Mt Maunganui - 28/10/2017
04 Nov 2017 // by butch181
RockFest 2017 was held at Totara Street in Tauranga on 28 October 2017in support of the local Cancer Society, with all profits being donated. RockFest 2017 Feature  The drive from Auckland had been long, but the constant rain had led to a reduction in traffic, which made the drive to Tauranga very pleasant.
Read More...
Gig Review: Remote @ RockFest 2017, Totara Street, Mt Maunganui - 28/10/2017
04 Nov 2017 // by butch181
RockFest 2017 was held at Totara Street in Tauranga on 28 October 2017in support of the local Cancer Society, with all profits being donated. RockFest 2017 Feature  The drive from Auckland had been long, but the constant rain had led to a reduction in traffic, which made the drive to Tauranga very pleasant.
Read More...
Gig Review: Coridian @ RockFest 2017, Totara Street, Mt Maunganui - 28/10/2017
04 Nov 2017 // by butch181
RockFest 2017 was held at Totara Street in Tauranga on 28 October 2017in support of the local Cancer Society, with all profits being donated. RockFest 2017 Feature  The drive from Auckland had been long, but the constant rain had led to a reduction in traffic, which made the drive to Tauranga very pleasant.
Read More...
Gig Review: The Eternal Sea @ RockFest 2017, Totara Street, Mt Maunganui - 28/10/2017
04 Nov 2017 // by butch181
RockFest 2017 was held at Totara Street in Tauranga on 28 October 2017in support of the local Cancer Society, with all profits being donated. RockFest 2017 Feature  The drive from Auckland had been long, but the constant rain had led to a reduction in traffic, which made the drive to Tauranga very pleasant.
Read More...
Gig Review: Play Big @ RockFest 2017, Totara Street, Mt Maunganui - 28/10/2017
04 Nov 2017 // by butch181
RockFest 2017 was held at Totara Street in Tauranga on 28 October 2017in support of the local Cancer Society, with all profits being donated. RockFest 2017 Feature  The drive from Auckland had been long, but the constant rain had led to a reduction in traffic, which made the drive to Tauranga very pleasant.
Read More...
Gig Review: Deathnir @ RockFest 2017, Totara Street, Mt Maunganui - 28/10/2017
04 Nov 2017 // by butch181
RockFest 2017 was held at Totara Street in Tauranga on 28 October 2017in support of the local Cancer Society, with all profits being donated.RockFest 2017 Feature The drive from Auckland had been long, but the constant rain had led to a reduction in traffic, which made the drive to Tauranga very pleasant.
Read More...
View All Articles By butch181

NZ Top 10 Singles

  • ROCKSTAR
    Post Malone feat. 21 Savage
  • I FALL APART
    Post Malone
  • HAVANA
    Camila Cabello feat. Young Thug
  • DON'T GIVE IT UP
    Six60
  • SILENCE
    Marshmello feat. Khalid
  • TOO GOOD AT GOODBYES
    Sam Smith
  • WHAT LOVERS DO
    Maroon 5 feat. SZA
  • YOUNG, DUMB AND BROKE
    Khalid
  • NEW RULES
    Dua Lipa
  • FEEL IT STILL
    Portugal. The Man
View the Full NZ Top 40...
muzic.net.nz Logo
100% New Zealand Music
All content on this website is copyright to muzic.net.nz and other respective rights holders. Redistribution of any material presented here without permission is prohibited.
Report a ProblemReport A Problem