Review: Zapp – The New Zapp IV U

Zapp – The New Zapp IV U is a favorite among longtime Zapp fans. The album is a classic R&B masterpiece thank to the hits Computer Love, It Doesn’t Really Matter, and Radio People. The New Zapp IV U would be the last gold selling album for Zapp during the 1980s. Zapp already a had a string of gold albums during the 1980s with albums such as their debut and Zapp II. As usual, Zapp created another phenomenal album with extraordinary sounds.

Everything to smooth R&B melodies to synthpop hits are what is on this Zapp album. The sounds of synth pop meet R&B/soul. However Zapp album leaned more towards the sound of synthpop. Roger Troutman and Zapp decided to go a different musical direction instead. Zapp strayed away from P-Funk by going in a different musical direction towards the sounds of synthpop. You can hear the sounds of synthpop on songs such as Radio People, Computer Love, Itchin’ For Your Twitchin’, and I Only Have Eyes For You.

It Doesn’t Really Matter served as the opener for the album and was a tribute to soul musicians such as Chuck Berry, James Brown, and Stevie Wonder. Roger pays tribute and homage to heroes such as Rick James, Charlie Wilson, Gap Band, Cameo, Prince, Aretha Franklin, and Sly Stone.

James Brown was so unique. He made his music groove your very soul. If you listen close to the music you’ll find no difference between their days. I’ll never understood how he did this. Do you remember Chuck Berry? He made rock around the clock. Rocking all night.

The song Computer Love was the album’s most popular single and one of Zapp’s biggest hits. Computer Love charted #8 on the US Billboard R&B chart thus becoming their biggest hit of 1985.

The song includes the lovely voice of Shirley Murdock and Gap Band’s Charlie Wilson. However Shirley is the one who most of the lead vocals. Not Charlie Wilson as many would have you believe. Charlie only sung the chorus, bridge, and hooks. Zapp frontman Roger uses his trademark talk box to lay down his smooth vocals. Shirley Murdock also wrote the song Computer Love too. Their arrangements are on key.

Computer Love was recorded at Troutman Sound Labs which was located at 1835 Catalpa Dive, Dayton, Ohio in 1984.

Computer Love has been sampled countless times over the years in rap songs and R&B/soul songs. Some examples are Lil Kim – Download, Bloods & Crips – Piru Love, 2Pac – Thug Passion, Blackstreet – Wanna Make Love, Lil Zane – All About The Fun, and Gucci Mane – Love Thru the Computer. Computer Love also featured in the 1993 movie Menace II Society which led the song to be a cult classic amongst Zapp fans and rap fans.

It’s internet based love on Computer Love. Computerized digital love. The song Computer Love was truly ahead of its time. Zapp was talking about online dating before online dating was popular.

From sexy mamas to cool Prima Donnas, everyone is looking for computer love. Searching for someone who can share that special love with. Thanks to modern technology, we now computerized digital love.

Itchin’ For Your Twitchin’ uses the Minneapolis sound. Roger was obviously inspired by Prince when he wrote, arranged, and produced Itchin’ For Your Twitchin’. You can hear the high NRG sound when you listen to Itchin’ For Your Twitchin’. Prince – Irresistable Bitch is part of the melody. Coincidence? I think not.

Radio People was a song that gained a cult following after being featured in the movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. The song was a moderate pop hit in 1985 on the radio. Radio People uses heavy 80’s electronically textured dynamics and irresistible melodies. The song uses an upbeat twist of funk. The entire song is a dedication to the radio.

Whenever you’re alone and you need some company, you have your radio. You know you have a friend that you can listen to on your radio. You can find it all on your radio. You don’t need nobody. You just touch the special dial on your radio for whatever sounds you like.

The music plays all night. You can find it on your radio.Stereophonic, groovalistic, realistic, superalistic. Whatever’s right for you.

Zapp did an excellent rendition of covering the classic soul song I Only Have Eyes For You on the song. Are the stars out tonight? You can’t differentiate if it’s cloudy or bright. The moon may be high but you can’t see a thing. But you only have eyes for that one person. Even in my darkest days and nights, I only have eyes for you. Even when I close my eyes I see you.

Rock ‘n’ Roll was the black/African American tribute to 80s metal with a funky blend. The song uses some very hard rock guitar riffs. Music is a universal language. A language that crosses racial barriers. The sounds of rock, blues, electronic, and pop meet each other on Cas-Ta-Spellome.

Make Me Feel Good is a modern blues tune which uses an upbeat twist of electro-funk backed by a saxophone solo. The song is so upbeat and fresh. Make Me Feel Good is one of those songs that lifts your spirits.

Ja Ready to Rock is backed by deep bass and synths. The song uses a bit of electronic production. Zapp has never strayed away from technology. So don’t be too surprised. Ja Ready to Rock is basically an instrumental. You can’t have a Zapp album without an instrumental at the very end.

While considered low quality (lo-fi) by today’s standards, Ja Ready to Rock was a moderate success among Zapp fans. Zapp has always used tasteful synthesizers and lively rhythms in their instrumentals.

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

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s