Zig Zag

by: The Hooters

This release shows the Hooters trying to modernize their sound from the over-romantic power pop of their previous efforts (e.g., "And We Danced"):  a little more dirt, a little less gloss, a little more personal expression.  The songwriting has gotten better in places here as well, still delivering infectious pop hooks with more sophisticated lyrics particularly on songs like "Brother, Don't You Walk Away," "You Never Know Who Your Friends Are," and "Deliver Me."  They do go over the top with the heavy metal ballads so popular in the late '80s; "Always a Place" and "Give the Music Back" reek of over-sentimentality. And "Mr. Big Baboon" has got to be one of the most stupid songs to come out of 1989.  The white reggae version of "500 Miles" featuring Peter, Paul, and Mary -- a very uncharacteristic Hooters tune -- alone makes the record worthwhile, however.  They still show off their non-traditional auxiliary instrumentation in places: mandolin, accordion, harmonium, this time with a little more class. ~ Mark W. B. Allender

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