Monday, August 11, 2008

Zero 7-Simple Things (2001)

1. I Have Seen
2. Polaris
3. Destiny
4. Give It Away
5. Simple Things
6. Red Dust
7. Distractions
8. In The Waiting Line
9. Out Of Town
10. This World
11. Likufanele
12. End Theme
13. Salt Water Sound
14. Spinning

Zero 7 is essentially Henry Binns and Sam Hardaker. The duo’s debut full-length, Simple Things, is a moody and engaging affair. Chock full of jazz, funk, hip-hop, and soul, the record bleeds together the past and the not-so-distant future into a squeaky clean, 70-plus minutes of unadulterated music.Most tracks are comprised of similar head-nodding drum beats, minor-ish jazz chords, intricate rhythm play, and a wealth of studio effects. These ingredients create a watery ambience over a tight rhythm section, juxtaposing the two elements in musical heaven. The album’s strength is derived from the consistent mood painted throughout. With its calculated song structures and seemingly forced ambience, the album has an incredibly lush and sensual mystique to it, but stays musically focused. Standout tracks are the title track, with its hip-hop beats, soft keyboards, and moody violins; and the incredibly moving "This World," reminiscent of Portishead’s trip-hop demeanor. Zero 7's ability to conjure beautiful lullabies with all the romance of 1960s French pop (as found on their debut LP, Simple Things) would have made them the toast of soundtrack composers and chill-out connoisseurs the world over.The album is shy from brilliant, though. Yes, the album is complex, engaging, and downright trippy, but it just doesn’t have enough originality and creativity to bring you to say, "this record is absolutely stunning."


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

FYI - this download is for the 12 trk version of the album, not 14 as your tracklisting suggests.