Special Sphere


Evolve Records, 1999

REVIEW BY: Tammy Childs


When I see the words "Special Sphere" I'm going to have expectations. I am a very literal person. If you say it's special, well, it had better be. But YUCK! This album was ghastly. It was awful. I rarely trash a person or group's hard work because I appreciate the effort, even if I don't personally like the music. But give me a break. There was no energy expended on this pathetic attempt to make music. There was no polish applied, no character or talent displayed. Let me explain.

Zufolo is a 14-member group -- rather large for a "band." They break the language barriers of Spanish, Portuguese, Russian and English. Lots of people, lots of talent. Right? With such a large group of people you'd think that there would, at the very least, be an infinitesimal amount of talent. I was in for an unexpected ride….and not a good one.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

They drove me straight into music hell. And the ride didn't end there. Every song is the same thing over and over. It's monotonous and dull all the way through. The only emotion I felt was pain; as if someone was sticking needles into my skin and then twisting them around.

The picture on the CD sleeve hinted that it they played techno music. "Perfect Style" is anything but perfect, and as far as "style," there is none. It sounds like a blend of techno-jazz with sappy cocktail lounge music in some old dingy nightclub where a go-go dancer is frantically trying to keep the attention of the audience. Alicia (one-name only) performs the vocals, and I use the word "perform" loosely.

"Forever" aptly describes how I feel about the entire CD; it goes on forever and ever. It was repetitious to agitation, and it's so broken into pieces that you get lost in the drone. Similar to jazz's fragmented style, but further broken down into such tiny ear-slicing pieces that you are exhausted and bloody when it's all over.

"Crazy World" had redeeming horn work but the vocals were off-key and Mark Valley stretched his abilities to the point of no return. Sorry man, it was just bad! "Pretty City" was musically okay, but just okay. Unfortunately, the duet of Alicia's singing and Valley's talking totally screwed it up. (A wasted attempt at rapping? I'm not sure.)

"Experience" aptly describes what I endured to review this crap. Choppy and idiotic, it just doesn't come together. I kept hoping that it would all end. My experience with this album will not be repeated. I won't endure this one again. The whole CD is like listening to cats mate -- lots of obnoxious noise and irritating to the neighbors.

Oddly enough this group is described by its producers as featuring "some of the finest UK-based jazz and Latin musicians." I must be missing something. Have UK listeners gotten jaded? Or just lost their hearing?

Rating: F

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2005 Tammy Childs and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Evolve Records, and is used for informational purposes only.