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Say Zuzu

Bull – 1998 (Broken White)

Reviewed by Jon Johnson

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CDs by Say Zuzu

A listen to Say Zuzu's first couple of records found the NewHampshire-based outfit sometimes in search of an appropriate sound, withthings finally clicking with 1997's excellent "Take These Turns."

This, though, is the album that could give the band the wideraudience they truly deserve; as well-produced and passionate as anyalt.country record you're likely to hear in the coming year. The group'susual suspects are here - Uncle Tupelo, the Jayhawks, and the BuffaloSpringfield appear to be particularly strong touchstones - but as was thecase with "Take These Turns," the songwriting of Jon Nolan and CliffMurphy has grown by leaps and bounds over the past few years, withNolan's "Pennsylvania" and "Wasting Time" and Murphy's "I'm Your Man(Stringbean)" and "Hank" being particularly strong.

1998 was a year in which the promise of alt.country that seemed sobright four or five years ago seemed to flicker more than a little; allthe more reason to give a listen to what is not only a great New Englandalbum, but is, in fact, one of the year's standout albums of the genre byany standard you care to name. (Say Zuzu/P.O. Box 128/Durham, NH 03824 or send e-mail to: sayzuzu@sayzuzu.com)