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Zodiac by The Shanghai Restoration Project
Released: Jan 2009
Label: Undercover Culture Music
The Shanghai Restoration Project has such a great concept: pairing bits of Chinese music with dance beats and an American urban pop aesthetic. But some SRP albums have just fallen flat, as if the whole construction is just weighed down by the concept. The latest Project buzzes with energy, however (though it goes for a weighty concept double whammy with the cutesy Chinese zodiac theme), staging odd yet compelling collaborations (a capella choir Virginia Sil'hooettes?), expertly melding the pipa with old-school hip-hop ("Top DOG") and working the electro-dance groove ("Deux TIGREs").
Rachel Devitt