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Album Review: Yumi Zouma - 'Present Tense'

Updated: May 4, 2023

Yumi Zouma, I am writing this to you and using my work as an example because I want you to understand I am not giving you a bad review. Sometimes, we reach for greatness, and our audience can see it. Yet, other times, we are getting back on the train to enjoy what life and our hard work have brought.

I have projects that I want to dance on the edge of greatness, timeless in theme and emotion. One example is the last story in A Moon Shaped Pool, “True Love Waits.” It is a story where my protagonist can physically mend his broken heart. He is a little older and a little wiser each time, yet he can never truly fix it. His last effort is his masterpiece. However, it no longer functions like a heart, and the protagonist dies of grief. Quiet, sad, and beautiful.

Yet, in a week and a half, I will be in Philadelphia at the Association of Writers and Writing Program, AWP, Conference, trying to sell a novel. While I am proud of Mark & His Big F’n Truck, I know that it is not a great piece of work. Yes, it is solid and tells a relatable story, but it was written for my enjoyment.

There is not a song on Present Tense that I do not like. Each one of them is easy to connect with. Yet, it lacks the experimentation of SASAMI’S Squeeze and the growth of Ceramic Animal’s Sweet Unknown. It is solid musically and relevant lyrically, but it is safe; indie-pop at its best.

Present Tense is a ten-song album that I can see as the soundtrack to an indie rom-com. Think the Garden State, specifically The Shins. I am not saying that they sound like them, just . . . hopefully you can get what I am saying. Also, realize that Zach Braff won a Grammy for Best Compilation Soundtrack Album.

Final Thought: Yumi Zouma started a worldwide tour on March 15, 2022. I applaud them for this.

Favorite Songs: “Give It Hell,” “Where The Light Used To Lay,” and “Astral Projection.”

Rating - 4/5

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