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John Zorn - Femina CD (album) cover

FEMINA

John Zorn

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

3.61 | 11 ratings

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Anthony H.
Prog Reviewer
3 stars John Zorn: Femina [2009]

Rating: 5/10

John Zorn dedicated most of 2009 to melodic music; Alhambra Love Songs and O'o are two of the most accessible albums he has ever released. However, any Zorn fan knows that the man would never go an entire year without releasing an album full of avant-garde insanity. Thus, we have Femina. Tzadik describes this album as a "colorful tribute to women in the Arts." This is a rather overarching and grandiose musical purpose, but Zorn is no stranger to pomposity. The all-female band features Zorn veterans such as violinist Jennifer Choi and electronic noisemaker Ikue Mori, and there are some new names as well.

Musically, this 35-minute composition is a combination of quiet contemporary classical and noisy electronic avant-garde. Like many of Zorn's other middle-of-the-road albums, there are excellent moments and dull moments to be found throughout the course of this piece. Schizophrenic shifts in sound occur frequently here; soft piano motifs suddenly give way to brutal dissonant electronic madness. This is a common Zorn compositional tactic that I find to be rather immature. Cohesion is thrown out the window is favor of needless experimental lunacy. Granted: there are some excellent musical ideas at play here. However, I know that there's a serious problem when I detect filler on an album that is only 35 minutes long.

Anthony H. | 3/5 |

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