Today’s offering is NOT Hip-Hop, does not resemble Hip-Hop, nor has many Hip-Hop elements. Moving forward:
Grammy-Winner, Zachary James‘ INTERGALACTIC plays like an effort to redefine the “cover song” or album. It takes the original, chops it up into the smallest pieces imaginable and strings it along throughout, barely recognizeable… in a good way.
Listeners may be able to recognize James’ otherworldly reimaginings of Madonna’s “Hung Up,” Miley Cyrus’ “Slide Away”, Beyoncé’s “Crazy in Love”, Drake’s “Fake Love”, Mariah Carey’s “Cry”, RuPaul’s “Blessed,” Justin Bieber’s “Yummy,” Mika’s “Happy Ending”, Lil Nas X’s “Am I Dreaming”, David Guetta’s “When Love Takes Over”, Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Roses”, Hailee Steinfeld’s “Starving”, Finneas’ “The 90s”, Ashley Park’s “Mon Soleil” from Emily in Paris, and more.
One clear standout track is “The 90s“, with it’s synth bass and smooth, yet grandiose outro. Others include the most soulful track along this 16-track adventure, “Blessed“. Also, the only lone original song, “Here I Come“, featuring American rapper King Marino and German multi brass instrumentalist Artem Koryapin.
The latter track features jazzy production, surprisingly, a rap verse and some affirmative language the entire world could use: “Start the trend, be the change/Open the book, take the stage“. It’s not a generic, cookie-cutter, positive vibes cut. There’s some soul in there. Makes you wonder why we aren’t getting a full-length original album from Zachary James right now, if this is the zone he’s in.
Zachary James’ INTERGALACTIC lands on earthly streaming services December 7th, 2022. Check out a full list of contributors below:
Zachary James (vocals & keyboards)
King Marino (vocals)
Artem Koryapin (brass)
Megan Nielson (vocals)
Frederick Poholek (guitar)
Mario D’Amario (accordion)
Amine Naami (guitar)
Eduardo Espin (ukelele)
Miladin Stojković (bass)
Yuri De Guzman (vocal percussion)
Yi-Chen Jane Lin (keyboards)
Philip Isah (keyboards)
cover art by Natan Mettugi