Zoë Lewis - Small is Tremendous

2008-04-02 17:12
Fuddy-duddy folksy mouth organs, repetitive keyboard scales and some honky tonk melodies underlie some initially very interesting and literally down-to-earth lyrics. Although sometimes she does seem to be at a loss for words: "Bup, pah ruhm da da da..." makes up most of the chorus on the title track. Snore. Zoë attempts to say things like they’ve never been said before. "Let me hold you to the gentle tune of a cricket’s knee" she sings on "Banana Moon". It’s a cute Takalani Sesame script.

Elsewhere her voice impersonation on "Snow White" sounds much like a Punch ‘n Judy show, and sing-along interludes on "Eyelashes" just cement this album’s infantile status. "Walter Thompson" and “Elizabeth” are odd odes that reveal little more than idiosyncrasies about their subjects. Who are these people? A play on words does not make a song.
Adults are too jaded by real life to take this kind of fluffy boho music seriously. It’s all sweet and well intentioned, but instead of offering welcome escapism, all that comes to mind is where does this woman find the time to be "friendly with a teacup... go upside down under butterfly-belly skies" ("Snow White")?

Lewis has a soft, soothing voice but it’s better suited to spoken word poetry or story telling at a kindergarten school. "Tadpole Puddle” with lyrics like “absolutely anything could happen / said the little engine/ said the ugly duckling/ said the bubble to the red balloon" should ensure this CD is next to the Telly Tubbies soundtrack in Musica. If not, Reggies should put in an order.

This album carries a rating. No over 6 year olds. Parental guidance not advised.

- Sam Brighton

On Small is Tremendous Zoë Lewis is either reliving her childhood or she’s given up on adults and kids are the only ones who will listen to her.

What to read next: Kalahari

kim suter 2008/04/05 8:13 AM
Still employed? Very surprised that you still have a job! Read your last three reviews - you just arent resonating with the readers. You seem to be missing a genuine connection with music and the trends in the SA music indstry.
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