Wednesday, June 3, 2009

CoolCleveland Review

What I Meant To Say
Buffalo ZEF Records

Parma-born singer-songwriter Zach is tireless. In the last decade, the Akron native has released nine albums and performed 200+ shows a year. He's played onstage with everyone from Dave Matthews and Neil Young to War and Chicago. And on his latest soulful effort, What I Meant To Say, he delivers his ten best and most organic-sounding tracks yet. He veers away from John Mayeresque territory and stretches out into a distinctive folk-rock/Americana take on pop music. Think Counting Crows with a Freedy Johnston-like sensitivity... and yet, he can get the funk out when he likes.

Zach recorded Say in Atlanta with producer Nick Chawala (Collective Soul, Gym Class Heroes) and the duo seem to have struck a creative chord together. "A Way Through" opens the festivities, with a rumination on Zach losing his father to terminal cancer. You find yourself thinking about the end of the line/ I find myself thinking about it more than I mind... he sings and you feel the disc (like his others) pull the direction of the disc into heartfelt existentialism. "Runaway," "Sky is Falling," "Some Love," "What Are You Afraid Of?" and the set-closer "World on Fire" are among the highlights here -- though "Apple Pie" could (and should) be this summer's funky-crunchy anthem of looking forward and staying real. Let's face it, you're fed up with what's on the radio in your car anyway. Zach's got a lot to offer; you'll definitely enjoy his craft.

Check out Zach's mad touring schedule and his new record by visiting

From Cool Cleveland Managing Editor Peter Chakerian

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