Zonkey by Umphrey's McGee

Marina Raffaelli
December 10, 2016

RATING:

50

%

TRACKS:

12

LABEL:

Nothing Too Fancy Music

RELEASE DATE:

11/11/2016


Umphrey's McGee is a band based out of Chicago, Illinois that formed in 1997. The band is known for their heavy, progressive, psychedelic rock style and mesmeric improvisation. They also incorporate a variety of other influences in their music such as funk, metal, jazz, blues, folk and even bluegrass. Zonkey, which consists entirely of only mashups, is their tenth studio album release.

Zonkey is a unique mashup album by Umphrey's McGee who pay homage to many of their favorite artists by performing parts of songs from multiple genres. The band does what DJ's do with samples except they're operating with real instruments. The new record works just as much as it doesn't, and when it does, it's often pretty damn entertaining.

Umphrey's technical prowess is entirely on display here as they perform their own vocals and instrumentation, blending multiple songs seamlessly together on each track. Take "National Loser Anthem" for example. The band combines Radiohead's "National Anthem" with Beck's "Loser," and Phil Collins' "In The Air Tonight." It's very impressive. While all the music on Zonkey is extremely well-crafted, there were some mashups I just didn't like so much. These tracks would be cool at first, but the novelty quickly wore off on me after a couple listens. In the end, just like any other mashup album, it's best enjoyed in small doses.

Some of the most memorable tracks include "National Loser Anthem," "Can't Rock My Dream Face," "Electronic Avenue to Hell (feat. Jennifer Hartswick)," and "Bittersweet Haj."

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