The Zombies | Different Game – New Studio Release Review

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Not that this could be anybody else, but from the title track of The Zombies’ Different Game, with its upfront blasting ‘dirty’ organ, strings slipping in, and a distinct vocal that could be delivered from only one guy, we’ve obviously checked into pop anthemic territory with  founders Rod Argent and Colin Blunstone on their new album.

Argent employed a wide variety of keyboards, penned most of the songs, co-produced and orchestrated the strings the four-piece “Q strings” Although the man can undoubtedly play the hell out of an organ, hearing Argent just at the piano, playing sweetly under Blunstone and strings on “You Could Be My Love,” as well as popping along on tunes like “Dropped, Reeling And Stupid” and the big rocker “Merry-Go-Round” is such a treat. He really is one of the great rock keyboardists.

Different Game keeps the spirit alive of late bassist Jim Rodford (Argent’s cousin who rejoined the band after 30 years away) with his son Steve on drums, who’s been with the Zombies since 2001, the year his dad came back. Guitarist Tom Toomey, who came aboard in 2010, provides a solid, understated guitar counterpoint to Argent’s keys. Søren Koch, the newest member of the Zombies, plays bass.

Blunstone sings above only strings on “I Want To Fly” and gets all breathy-with-it on the last tune (and the only one he wrote), “The Sun Will Rise Again.” If anything, the slower songs show off his still-incredible pipes. I know it might be rock and roll sacrilege to declare this, but quite a few of the tracks on Different Game as every bit as good as big hits like “She’s Not There” or “Tell Her No.” A group at this stage in their career producing an album of this quality gives one faith that the time of the season might just not be upon us yet.

~ Ralph Greco, Jr.

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