Zero: Exile 2
"Most people run through life without really thinking about it. They're just getting by. I've tried that. I was a drone in their machine, 'till one day, I broke free." -Zero This album, Zero: Exile II, sets out to answer the big questions in small ways: Who are we? Why are we here? What is real? What does a monkey's uncle drenched in after shave smell like? Exile II continues of the story of Zero, a nothing guy living an ordinary life until he finds himself in an alternate, surreal dimension of reality where he starts to question fundamental notions of his own existence. Or something like that. Rather than tell a linear story, each song in The Exile (Zru Vogue 2006) and Zero: Exile II (Zru Vogue 2011) let's a piece of the story unfold, often from Zero's perspective as he struggles to understand his predicament. Exile II could be the soundtrack to a stage production; there's a theatrical feel to many of these songs that immerses the listener in moods and sensations that can take several listens to absorb and process. It's a dense album. Musically and sonically rich, conceptually opaque, and lyrically obtuse, the world of Zero begins to unfold once you stop trying to understand it and accept it as something new, to be understood on it's own terms. But if you forget all that and just listen to the music, you will find Zru Vogue in top form, delivering avant-pop art funk with insistent beats, expressive and emotive synthesizers, flowing bass lines, and spot-on percussion fills that dig deep into the heart of Zruism. There's a lot more that we could say about this album, but the best way to understand what Zero: Exile II is all about is to experience it yourself. Listen. Learn. Be. Question reality. Do the Zru.