Jano Zanzi is a 26-year-old Uruguayan singer and songwriter who started his career 15 years ago and has accumulated an impressive list of accomplishments. Zanzi has written songs for plays such as “Noctámbulo: un amor prohibido” as well as films including “Falling in love with you again.” His latest accomplishment is the release of his second album entitled Alternativow.
Upon looking at the cover, which contains someone holding a guitar I was thinking the album would revolve around rock songs but that wasn't quite the case. The songs on Alternativow are more apt to fit in at the dance club than at the indie rock club. The album does contain a fair amount of guitar but the distorted synth bass, heavy hitting electronic drums and other electronic elements are more prevalent throughout.
The album opens with “Bad Bad Boy (Alt. Version), which mixes elements of jungle, techno and even hints of industrial. There are moments in which the music sounds like a more clubby version of Nine Inch Nails. The song excels at combining vocal harmonies with multiple percussive elements and distorted bass.
“Drums” is a straight up club thumper you can picture party kids busting out their glow sticks and pacifiers. The beat hits hard as multiple synths wiggle about increasing the serotonin levels to the club goers. The dance vibe continues with “Switch (Alt. Version) [feat. Gia Love],” which coats the vocals in the ever-popular auto-tune effect. It’s a catchy tune and arguably the most “single worthy” in the batch.
Zanzi starts to deviate from the dance tracks with songs like “Todo Vale (Alt. Version) [feat. Dani Umpi]” and “Say It to My Face.” He also attempts “Tainted Love,” which I probably could have done without. The song has been covered by so many bands that at this point it seems redundant.
Alternativow contains a number of songs and styles that were at their most popular five to ten years ago in the United States. In Uruguay it may be a different story. Zanzi also sounds like he’s trying too hard to make a hit at times but regardless he can write a pop song. The songs are for the most part very catchy and he knows how to write a hook. Sometimes that’s all you need and people will embrace it.
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