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"Review of Selfish Traveler"

Musicianship – 8 out of 10
Selfish Traveler is the latest release from one of Kansas City’s finest artists, Zico! And, if I may say so, it’s his best to date! Before reviewing this CD, I read through my review of his previous albums, and found that my sentiments were very similar to his older releases! I like his songwriting style, and I like the sense that he has for using harmonies, both vocal and instrumental, in his songs.

As I listened, I found the songs on this new CD to be less harsh, and more introspective. Songs like (Selfish Traveler) and (Walking In Circles) seem to speak of the lifestyle that he has chosen, traveling and playing music, killing time and trying to muster up the money and energy to make it to the next city! He also includes songs that speak of his hope, and of his disillusionment (feelings that I really identified with as I listened!) I was a bit disappointed to find that he is still using a drum machine to record; on this project, though, the canned drums are less intrusive. Apparently, he’s gotten better at his sequencing/programming skills! Truthfully, too, I think he has a much better musical sense, and a better idea of what he wanted to do with the percussion on this record. I am quite happy; the overall musical quality is much improved!

Songwriting - 9 out of 10
I really can’t say enough about Zico’s songwriting abilities! This is the area where he excels, in my opinion! The lyrics and music on Selfish Traveler include verses that are meaningful, and choruses that grab your attention; he also shows that he actually knows how to craft a melody that is interesting!

In the last review that I wrote for Zico, I compared his songwriting abilities to those of Rob Thomas; here, I feel like he hits new highs by writing songs that are much more introspective and heartfelt; for an example, one should see the lyrics for the song (Where Shall I Go); they are perhaps the best lyrics he’s ever written. Give that song a listen, and you will learn a lot about Zico as a person! He deserves a lot of praise for crafting an album full of songs that are interesting, entertaining and moving!

Sound Quality/Professionalism – 7.5 out of 10
If there was a ‘Most Improved’ award that I could give in any category, it would definitely be this one! Zico has greatly improved the quality of the sound on Selfish Traveler; his attention to the tinier details doesn’t go unnoticed, and his decision to utilize a quality studio also helps! Another point that can’t be ignored is the fact that an additional year of touring has honed his chops, so that he is a better singer and guitar player today than he was before!

I was able to see a level of professionalism in Zico that I think is born out of a higher level of maturity, and a genuine sense of loyalty to his fans. I get the impression on this record that he is doing everything he can to make the best album possible, for himself and for his fans! When an artist has that mentality going in to a recording project, I think the result is always going to be positive.

Packaging - 8 out of 10

Once again, the packaging for Selfish Traveler is much improved! His previous albums were very obviously DIY projects, with inserts and labels made on an Inkjet printer! This CD insert includes 4 panels with great pictures on professional glossy paper. He includes music/production credits, and a nice word of thanks to the people who helped him on the CD, and to his fans. I just can’t say enough about the work he has done to improve the ‘product’ he is offering to his listeners! Adding lyrics would be the icing on the cake! (not available in the liner notes or his website).

Favorite Tracks
Selfish Traveler
Walking In Circles
Socialist Buddhist
Worth Remembering

Overall Rating - 8 out of 10
As you may be able to tell, the theme for this review is ‘Wow’! I am very impressed by the improvements and quality that I hear in Zico’s latest CD Selfish Traveler. Great guitar work, heartfelt lyrics, and really good vocals help to make this an acoustic project that you’ll definitely want to check out!

I am also impressed with the work ethic that Zico displays in his touring schedule. He travels light, and plays a lot of shows all over the place. In doing so, he is building a fan base, and making his name known at great venues throughout the Midwest! I really hope that his hard work will pay off for him in the near future, and I think with this album, he’s taking a big step toward that end!

I would recommend that you get a copy of Selfish Traveler for yourself! In doing so, you’ll keep a great artist on the road, and also be highly entertained! And, it would be sacrilege for me to leave this review without an encouragement to great music fans to catch Zico live when he comes to your town! He is a great artist, and I am very sure you’ll enjoy hearing his music up close and personal! --Mark Lush, Midwestbands.com 1/5/05
- MidwestBands.com

"Zico – “Selfish Traveler”"

Zico is an artist that has the unique ability of having an amazing and powerful live show. That being said, you would think that he would struggle to capture the feel and emotion of his live show to CD. But this is not the case with “Selfish Traveler.” Zico has taken the energy and turned it inward on this CD. The albums’ title “Selfish Traveler” says it all…Zico has lived and learned on the road. The songs of “Selfish Traveler” are about his life on the road and the people he has met and experiences he has made touring five years straight. Much like his debut “Childhood Memories,” Zico’s songwriting ability is not to be questioned.

On “Selfish Traveler,” Zico has taken a look deep inside himself and his soul and his life on the road. Atmosphere is the key to this album. Zico’s melodies and harmonies and musical work make this album a nice easy listen. This is the type of album that you can listen to at anytime and in any mood. “Selfish Traveler” is an album that will let you into Zico’s soul and he welcomes you in and let’s you play around for a bit.

Favorite Tracks:
LSP Rock Star
Walking In Circles
Open Mind

I highly recommend picking up both of Zico’s full length albums (Childhood Memories and Selfish Traveler) and if you get a chance…you would be foolish not to see Zico live. Zico’s live show takes you on a brand new journey with his songs.

Joel McElree
Dubuque’s Super Hits 106
KIYX Sageville-Dubuque - Joel McElree

"Review of Basement Bootlegs and Childhood Memories"

This review takes me to the great city of Milwaukee, WI and an artist named ZICO! He sent us two CDs to release: Basement Bootlegs and Childhood Memories. I have to admit before I say anything else that I had his music pigeonholed as folksy coffeehouse music. Anytime that I have preconceived notions about something, I find that I’m usually wrong, and that’s the case here! Yes, ZICO’s music is primarily his vocals over acoustic guitar, but it’s not limited to that. It’s a little hard to explain in just a few sentences, so I’ll explain further.

First, let me say that ZICO is a talented singer and songwriter. At times (and I may be criticized for saying so) his talent reminds me of Rob Thomas; he displays the same characteristics in his music and the songs that he has crafted. I admire that! He’s not the most technically proficient musician, but there’s just something that you admire about the songs that he’s written.

I listened first to Basement Bootlegs, which is an EP containing 6 songs that, true to the title, sound as if they were recorded live, just guitar and vocals, in a basement! I’m glad I got to hear this one first, because it let me see the raw qualities of the songs he writes. The first “Drivin”, is a good song about wanting to recapture your youth, and though it was rough, I liked the song! The next, “Dream of Peace”, is the song that for whatever reason, reminded me of Matchbox 20 and Rob Thomas. All of the songs on this CD are really good, and it helped me to picture in my mind how ZICO probably sounds live! In fact, the last song on the CD, “Life in Bliss”, is a live track, and it was good to close the CD with it! It left me with the feeling that I had just heard a live set of music. All in all, I appreciated this CD; many musicians are adept with their instruments, but when it comes to putting words and ideas on paper, leave much to be desired. I didn’t have this feeling with ZICO at all. I felt that his songs were well crafted, and that I got a glimpse of who he is as a person. It’s not often that musicians are able to communicate that idea to their audience!

After listening to Basement Bootlegs, I put in Childhood Memories. This CD is cleaner in its production value, but to be honest, I had an overall better feeling about Bootlegs. First, I’m not a fan of drum machines. Many times, I feel sampled or looped drum lines detract from the music, rather than adding to it. I never once missed the drums on Basement Bootlegs, so I guess it kind of took a little of the wind out of the sails for this one. That does not mean that I’m not fond of this CD… I guess that’s just a personal beef of mine; I’m a fan of live music with live musicians!

The negative out of the way, I really liked the vocal harmonies on this CD! Several tracks, especially “Motherless Child”, are vocal standouts! The harmonies are nice and tight, and not overdone. I was impressed! “Counting Pavement”, I think, is a great example of what a good voice ZICO has. I really like a lot of the slower, more haunting tracks on the CD, where he has a chance to play more interesting, finger-picked guitar lines. Usually on those songs, the lyrical content is more interesting as well! As I mentioned before, the faster tracks generally are pulled down by the drum machine accompaniment; one exception was the nice little bitch about corporate radio called “Radio Song”; one line in that one stood out to me. In the context of all the “pierced bands” on the radio today, he says “The Sex Pistols did it first, and they did it better!” Right on, brother!

I think it’s interesting that on both CDs, he left me with a really good feeling about the CD. The last song on Childhood Memories is labeled as a bonus track, called “In Memory Of…” on this track, ZICO is accompanied by an electric guitar, which really adds a nice touch to this song! It also left me with the overall feeling that this was a really good offering from him!

I like ZICO’s music, and if you get a chance to see him live, you should do it! I also hope that down the line, someone will recognize the talent that he has, and give him an opportunity to do a serious studio album! Listening, I could hear all sorts of great songs just waiting to be pulled out of this guy! With a killer band and a great producer, I really think that ZICO could turn out radio-caliber songs that would chart well! So much of success rides on the right combination of production, songwriting, publicity and plain ol’ good fortune; ZICO has the songwriting skills; if he hooks up the rest, he’s on his way!---Mark Lush, MWB, 11/14/02
- MidwestBands.com

"Zico's cd release party - Hurricane - Kansas City, MO"

- December 8, 2004

I wasn’t sure what to think when I found out Zico was going to be performing after two harder rock bands for his cd release show in Kansas City. I was pleasantly surprised though – seeing metal fans jamming to Zico just proved to me, and the crowd that was there, what I have known all along: Zico appeals to all. From new songs, to old favorites, Zico mesmerized the audience with his strong voice, and sold himself to some new fans. As always….I am looking forward to the next Kansas City show. I would urge anyone out there with a love of music to check Zico out….the cd is great…the live show is even better!

Main Street Sounds

- Jen


Recovering Failure (LP)
Release Date May 24 2007
© 2007 BN Records

1. - Recovering Failure
2. - Get Away
3. - Cloudy Day
4. - Short But True
5. - West Bound Train
6. - Coming Home
7. - Solo Trip With A Friend
8. - Another Day
9. - Overdue
10. - Didn't Get Your Name
11. - Room 814
12. - Last Morning In Michigan
13. - Typical Interview
14. - Desert Moon
All songs written by Zico
This CD has a full band

Selfish Traveler (LP)
© 2004 Zico Music

1. - Intro
2. - Selfish Traveler
3. - Walking in Circles
4. - Open Mind
5. - Drivin' - Has taken off in Europe
6. - Where Shall I Go
7. - Free
8. - Socialist Buddhist
9. - Dreamers Thanks
10. - Finding Fine
11. - Worth Remembering
12. - LSP Rock Star - Stayed on the top most requested songs for 2 months Nov-Jan 2005 on WSUP 91 FM.
13. - Before
All songs written by Zico except tracks 2 and 13 written by Zico and Paulla Rundle
This CD is a full band

Bootlegs CD (EP)
© 2002 Zico Music

1. - Drivin - recieved radio play
2. - Dream of Peace
3. - Streetlight (Gigolo)
4. - Bailey
5. - You Say
6. - Life in Bliss (live)
All songs written by Zico
This cd is just Zico and his Guitar

Debut CD (LP)
© 1999,2001 Zico Music

1. - Life in Bliss - recieved radio play
2. - Motherless Child
3. - Counting Pavement - recieved radio play
4. - Childhood Memories
5. - Late Night News
6. - The Breeze
7. - Please
8. - Radio Song - recieved radio play
9. - Relaps
10. - What Right?
11. - Lost it All
12. - Let It Loose
Bonus Track
13. - In Memory Of...
All songs written by Zico
This CD has a full band



From Kansas City, Missouri now based out of Las Vegas, Nevada USA.
Zico has been touring as a solo artist nationally and internationally since the summer of 2000. In doing so he has accumulated fans from all over the world. (Canada, Mexico, Australia, Japan, Haiti, and Dominican Republic) With the release of his 3rd full length LP “Recovering Failure (2007)”on BN Records, Zico is expected to have even more success than he did with “Selfish Traveler (2004).” Which was a follow up to “Basement Bootlegs EP (2002)” and “Childhood Memories (2000)”His shows have been described by radio personalities, press and promoters as energetic, electrifying, and a must see. Zico has cut his teeth in this business by not letting himself be considered a coffee house singer/ songwriter instead he has shared the bill with all types of genres with crowds up to 26,000… Country w/ David Allan Coe…Pop Rock W/ Gin Blossoms… Acoustic Rock W/ Howie Day… Rock W/ Caroline Spine… Rap W/ Ton Loc…Top 40 W/ Fastball. The list does continue. Everyone who has seen a Zico show has left a fan of his. Every show is different, because Zico vibes off what the crowd is feeling. His stage presence and songwriting has been perfected over the many years of touring playing 150-200 shows a year. In the last 2 years Zico took time off to write and record music. Now that he has done that he is heading back out on the road to support the new CD “Recovering Failure,” with some shows having a full band behind him for the first time.