Review: Zapp ‎– Zapp – VII Roger & Friends

Zapp ‎– Zapp VII Roger & Friends is the newest and freshest album from the Zapp band outta Dayton, Ohio. Yes you heard it correctly! It’s a new Zapp album! Zapp has that funky soul sound that will surely make you get up and dance. Zapp keeps it fresh and funky whether it be dance songs or love ballads regardless of time period or without Roger Troutman’s presence. The album continues their 40-year legacy of funk while paying homage to the creative genius of Roger Troutman. This is the second posthumous Zapp album since the tragic death of Roger Troutman.

Lester Troutman produced the whole entire album. Zapp band members contribute as well. Bootsy Collins, Frankie J, Kurupt, and Snoop Dogg all make guest appearances on this Zapp album. How exciting!

This Zapp album was released in 2018 on CD and vinyl. However this album was not released worldwide but was instead released to countries in Europe for some reason unlike their 2002 album Zapp VI : Back By Popular Demand. That is the only frustrating part about this album.

The song Shy is Dance Floor and Heartbreaker revisited. Notice how the term ‘nasty girl’ is used. Roger Troutman used that term in the song Heartbreaker from the Zapp III album in 1982. The shy girl sitting alone in the corner of the club has a secret love she will show nobody else. She wants to dance. There is definitely enough “bounce for your ounce” in this Zapp song.

Bootsy Collins and Zapp make it funky on the song Make It Funky. Funk meets soul on Make It Funky. There is definitely enough “bounce for your ounce” in this Zapp song. Make It Funky is a 2018 rendition of Funky Bounce from their 1979 debut and is Funky Bounce revisited.

Zapp & Roger serves a refresher to those who don’t know about Zapp or knowledge of who the Zapp band was. The song explains the evolution of the talkbox sound.

The song Bailando features Latin singer Frankie J hence the Spanish vibe. A bit of word from the Spanish language are incorporated into the English lyrics. The term quiero se y bailando is Spanish for I want to be dancing.

Appreciate You is primarily driven by the trap sound. This is not surprising given Zapp has a history of incorporating modern technology production into their songs. This Zapp song is also driven by hi hats and snare drums. The trap sound is very syncopated.

Angel was a song that was pieced together from an early demo by creative genius Roger Troutman. The song was recorded in 1977 and re-recorded just a decade later in 1987.

Angel uses his talkbox sound overlapped with the use of melodic bells. The song uses a modern electronic sound that is laced with soul and funk. This is not surprising given Zapp has a history of incorporating modern technology into their songs. The song Angel is an angelic modern day follow up to Roger’s 1987 hit called I Want To Be Your Man.

Byron Chambers plays the iconic talkbox on Rock Ya Body. Overall Rock Ya Body is a Zapp dance song. So dance to this groove. The synth bass lines are in full effect and groovy. You can feel the legacy of Roger living on inside of this song as you listen to it.

Rock Ya Body incorporates some lyrics from the song Dance Floor from the Zapp II album. “Let me see you move it on the dance floor baby/Let me see you move it” Only hardcore Zapp fans will notice this from the lyrics.

Red & Dollars with Snoop Dogg is a posthumous performances by Roger Troutman himself. The song Red & Dollars includes Roger’s signature talk box sound. Funk meets hip hop/rap on this Zapp song. DJ Battlecat produced this Zapp song specifically for this album.

Calmness coming from the piano is perfect. The easygoingness of that piano is so good and perfect thus bringing the middle to the end in a smooth instrumental transition. The instrumental towards the end is quite jazzy. Jazz is incorporated into soul music on this Zapp song. Snoop Dogg helps bring in the West Coast flavor. This song stands out the most!

I rate this album 5/5*****!!

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