Thursday, May 14th, 2009

Gorilla Zoe – Echo

Apparently there’s a version with Diddy on it. We’ll be ignoring that, then…


Tom Ewing: Robot gorillas used to feature weirdly regularly in very old school 2000AD stories, though I don’t remember any rapping over what sounds like old China Crisis chord changes: who says there’s no innovation left? There’s an increasing whiff of pointlessness about all this voco-rap stuff, though, as is par for the course, “Echo” is jolly pleasant, and nobody ever went broke playing the gentle giant card.

Michaelangelo Matos: I like how straightforward the lyrics are on this: at first I thought it was just 808s and Heartbreak redux, but while Zoe’s persona here may have fewer angles than Kanye’s, I know which one I prefer relating to.

Hillary Brown: Um, I’ve listened to this 15 times in a row, and I’m not tired of it yet. Vastly different from the macho posturing that starts off this Atlantan’s second album, “Echo” reminds me of nothing so much as Enrique Iglesias’s “Do You Know (The Ping Pong Song)?” in its cheerful commitment to cheese. It’s not quite as amazing as that song, but it’s a fine use of Autotune and a very pleasing melody.

Alex Macpherson: Gorilla Zoe’s Don’t Feed Da Animals album is pretty good – hooky ear candy which holds few surprises but which is consistently enjoyable. You wouldn’t know it from the spectacularly bad “Echo”, though. I’m far from an Autotune autohater – and indeed Zoe uses it to terrific, woozy effect on “Dope Boy” – but his cack-handed attempt to use it to signify an ~emo moment~ is embarrassing. I blame Kanye.

Jordan Sargent: Gorilla Zoe’s Don’t Feed Da Animals is an album full of half-assed raps and metallic-heart Autotune warbles over tinny, cheap-as-hell synth beats. Naturally nobody cares about it, but it’s arguably the quintessential Southern rap album of 2009. “Echo” is probably the least interesting Autotune experiment on the album, but it’s definitely the most immediate, a single so dumb, obvious and good that its chorus might as well be Zoe laughing in our faces.

Al Shipley: The grain of Gorilla Zoe’s voice is so unique, almost alien, that he’s just about the only rapper left who’d be able to bring something new to the AutoTune craze. Unfortunately, this brick of synth ballad cheese is anything but fresh, and the closest thing to a hook was annoying enough the first time when Timbaland did it on Nelly Furtado’s “Say It Right.”

Martin Skidmore: The gruffness is still there, but it’s an undertone. This is barely rap: he more or less sings it. It’s a good song, though: nicely restrained and sort of sad, despite being a ‘fuck you’ to an ex, and could have been wonderful delivered by the right R&B voice (Ne-Yo, say), but a mildly gruff robot does not strike any kind of suitable note. Disappointing.

Martin Kavka: The chords change about as quickly as they do in the oeuvre of Morton Feldman, the beats are sparse, and the vocals are AutoTuned. Radically new and brilliantzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…

Ian Mathers: The stilted, clipped (and, sigh, AutoTuned) delivery on the verses is surprisingly effective, and the gulped, stuttery chorus is too – he’s probably not nearly as over her as he repeatedly and thoroughly claims to be, but all that does is adds a nice little bit of ambiguity to the song’s portrait of someone sitting there, haunted by their own voice.

2 Responses to “Gorilla Zoe – Echo”

  1. I kind of like this one, but Lex is right that the album is much better and Jordan is right that it feels weirdly essential. (BTW Gorilla Zoe probably would not be offended if you called this song dumb.)

  2. (Less weirdly “quintessential,” which some people claim is, in fact, a different word from “essential.”)