Label: Planet Z Records
Released: 12th November 2021
It’s finally here! Zuzu’s long-awaited debut album has flown in from Planet Z. Still chockfull of her sing-along anthems, head boppingly grand tunes, and charmingly Scouse inflexions, expanding her arsenal to a brand new set of ten tracks is a chance for her to properly spread her wings.
There’s a venerable sense of growing and understanding about ‘The Queensway Tunnel’. Where her singles previously have been loaded with witticisms and tongue-in-cheek chewing on the eye-rolling explorations of love, and the harder life stuff, there’s an air of lamentation that leaves a space yearning for that level of punch-on-the-shoulder knowing here.
‘Toaster’ is a wandering musing number, dealing with growing up and receiving the titular appliance as a gift (pass the marmalade?), while on the flip side ‘Bevy Head’ is Zuzu reckoning with her road-weary band-on-the-run lifestyle. The bops are boppy, there are lessons to be learned (‘Never Again’) but there’s a certain sparkle that feels missing. Last year’s ‘How It Feels’ EP was laden with a tangible wink, following irresistibly catchy tunes.
That doesn’t detract from the overall joy that Zuzu brings. It feels like sitting down with a mate (who’s very good at writing songs) and the honest tea being spilt. It’s filled with growing pains, and Zuzu genuinely sounds like she’s reaching for an ambitious point even beyond ‘The Queensway Tunnel’. It’s heartwarming and sincere. These are songs that will be there when you need them to be but rarely offer a celebration. Points for the cat purring intros throughout, too.