Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Zan-Zan (1989)


Yanking something out from the 'Z' entries in my music library doesn't seem to happen with enough regularity, so that was part of the motivation for me wanting to put the spotlight on the now-unheard-of r&b singer William Aquart, better known by his shortened stage name, Zan. As for the rest of that motivation? Well, the 80's, of course! Plus the fact that I've been in the mood for some old-school funk/r&b lately, which is exactly what you'll get tuning in to Zan's 1989 self-titled debut—sadly, his only known full-length album to date. He rocks the house right off the bat with "House You", an appropriately lively upbeat dance jam that screams ' 90's dance era ' (or more like it jumped back in time from the 90's house era). There's actually a double meaning to the song's title: the house beat itself, then the lyrics themselves, which is Zan's stylistic way of saying to the girl he wants, 'I want to take you back to my house and make love to you all night', by my interpretations. I praise songs similar to "Want To Be With You" because of their simple, down-to-earth love messages and nice upbeat grooves; the 80's r&b genre is full of them, and they're so easy to like! Ironic that the album's third track should be entitled "Fight The Funk" because, once you dig in to the funky, new jack swing beat, why would you want to fight it? An absolute jam, that one is! Make sure you've got the bedroom all nice and ready before you play Track #4's "Share The Night Away". I've just nominated this as your 'Slow Jam Of The Night'! Oozing with romance and so silky smooth is Zan's vocals against the marvelously silky slow groove and the soulicious (I've been using that made-up adjective a lot lately) background singers. It really feels like you're caught up in a seductive dream.....a dream that you wish would last on forever and ever. Had to play it twice for myself! And if you have a long night of love-making planned, well, I suggest you leave this track on repeat until the sun rises the next morning! From seduction to steaminess: Zan gets down and freaky with the follow-up jam, "Straight Up Nasty", with a great uptempo beat to match. More down-to-earth lyrics to be appreciated on "I Got Work To Do". The message here? In my own words: 'Baby, I got not time for romancing right now, cause I gotta make that dollar'. Yeah, a man who needs to make his living is something every woman should appreciate. If you ever awaken from the romantic dream that was "Share The Night Away", the album's second slow jam will snap you right back to reality. "Why Don't You Call?" is your classic reconciliation/mend-your-broken-heart song where Zan searches for answers to why his girl has become silent. But once things have worked out for the better, you can make get that bedroom all nice and ready again before the delicious finale, "Love Juicy". I had at first slated this third exquisite slow jam as runner-up to "Share The Night Away" for 'Slow Jam Of The Night' and as the best track overall, but now that I take into consideration its marvelously jazzy melody and that wailing, synthesized siren accompaniment that makes me want to think about KOOL & THE GANG's memorable "Summer Madness" groove, "Love Juicy" just may be 'juicier' than anything else you could sink your teeth into on this album:

1. House You
2. Want To Be With You
3. Fight The Funk
4. Share The Night Away
5. Straight Up Nasty
6. I Ain't The One
7. I Got Work To Do
8. Why Don't You Call?
9. Heat Of The Moment
10. Love Juicy

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