Power to Change (Willow Tree)
Reviewed by Rachel Rascoe, Fri., Sept. 1, 2017
Unafraid of drama and pointed retro-ness, Jennifer Zavaleta's Power to Change opens prominently into Nineties keyboard tones, cheering and clapping, some shoo-bop-bopping, and a child singing (the entirety of "I Luv You"). On her first solo release following involvement in a variety of local acts, the singer-songwriter produces a flurry of transcendent electro-hippie soul aesthetics tuned for coffee shop listening. Mid-song tempo shifts step between moving platforms of sonic moods aiming at the artist's universal advice for rebellious independence. Lighter country numbers ("Is This Woman") and darker blues moments ("Landing and Flying") add up to the album equivalent of lightweight spirituality beach reads (e.g., Eat, Pray, Love) delivering Zava's mixed messages while lacking any standout statements.