ZHU released the first part of RINGOS DESERT in April, giving fans a little over four months to sit with those seven incredible songs and fully play them out – even potentially giving them enough time to get overplayed. To release the full album with Pt1 entirely intact, in the same order, before the new songs, is bold to say the least. With seven additional songs added to the final version of the album, fans are forced to sit through the seven songs they’ve already been playing for almost half of this year.
But the thing about ZHU’s music is that we really don’t care – it’s that good.
To truly appreciate the latter half of RINGOS DESERT, it’s necessary to entirely absorb the first. Going through “Guilty Love,” “Burn Babylon,” and everything else gives context and a more rigid framework for the later songs like “Ghost In My Bed,” “Love That Hurts,” and the rest.
At its core, RINGOS DESERT plays like a love album, but it’s more about the struggle surrounding love than the thrill of experiencing it. Songs like “Guilty Love” paint a picture of a forbidden tryst, while “Love That Hurts” delivers a far more unambiguous reference.
It’s hard to conceive a way in which ZHU could have created a more diverse and immersive experience within his own sound than what he did on this album. Each song is unmistakably ZHU, a result of a carefully crafted brand and soundscape that he’s developed ever since he dropped his remix of “Moves Like Ms. Jackson” four years ago. New to his sound are greater risks, more varied instrumentation, and a clearer sense of courage in the sound he chooses to present.
Separating the full album from the admittedly dangerous release plan is difficult, but it’s worth it to listen to the album all the way through to truly get the full effect. Experience all the pain, the sorrow, the intense passion on RINGOS DESERT from ZHU below.