15 April 2013
Zero 7 - Simple Things
For an electronica act, the works of studio engineers Henry Binns and Sam Hardaker are long and reasonably varied. They are the nucleus of Zero 7 and their production credits roll off an impressive resume, Pet Shop Boys, Radiohead, Robert Plant and Lenny Kravitz for a kickoff. It would seem taken as granted to be easy by applying those skills to your own work. Binns and Hardaker have carved out a niche of not necessarily finding every woodwind and stringed instrument imaginable and then playing them to death, but multi-layering, perhaps as a one-step-at-a-time-policy as the album title Simple Things suggests.
To date Zero 7 have recorded four albums in their name and this first offering Simple Things comes across as wanting to make a statement. The whole album can be summed up by the numerous musicians involved in each track, each playing to their strengths. Sia Furler, Sophie Barker and Mozez aren't exactly household names that are easy rolled off the tongue but they're sold on talent. Barker with her fluent soft tones, Furler as an assured but delicate voice and Mozez as a soulful and nostalgic entity.
I Have Seen sets the scene with an easy going approach while Polaris reaches us with the some of the same, but dark but flowing filler. Destiny is a statement of a long distance relationship filled with much poignancy and longing but with hope. The vocals of Furler (verses) and Barker (chorus) complement each other well. The rest of the album runs along more or the same vein of electronic loops, the occasional bleep and acoustic strings which are at times uplifting but not sending you to dizzying heights. Easy listening and yet enough to run for so long without losing your attention. There are however some moments, Distractions for example, which remind you politely that not everything in life is sweetness and light. Diversity-wise, Likufanele stands out with an Southern African choral combo running the show while Out Of Town has Bacharach etched all over the wall.
Sadly, Saltwater Sound and Spinning are only available on the U.S. release. It's a great shame because they are a personal favourite of mine or this album would have had full marks from me. Nevertheless, Simple Things, while not being the greatest electronica album ever, is a strong debut from Binns and Hardaker and an uplifting piece that makes us all feel thankful for the basic comforts in life. M. Richardson 15.04.2013
9 out of 10. Almost perfect...Almost.
You can purchase the album here
You can listen to the whole album here
No official website, but you can follow Zero 7's activities on their Facebook page.
- ► 2017 (149)
- ► 2016 (249)
- ► 2015 (267)
- ► 2014 (309)
- Erica Nockalls - Imminent Room
- Museum - Traces Of
- Guns N Roses - Use Your Illusion 1
- Overkill - The Electric Age
- Justice - †
- The Offspring - Americana
- Type O Negative - World Coming Down
- Stormtroopers Of Death - Speak English Or Die
- Benjamin Francis Leftwich - Last Smoke Before The ...
- Therapy? - Troublegum
- The Wildhearts - P.H.U.Q.
- Rufio - MCMLXXXV
- Living Colour - Vivid
- Another new member and a scoring system for EP's a...
- Cough/Windhand - Reflection of The Negative
- Grinderman - Grinderman
- Superjoint Ritual - Use Once & Destroy
- New Power Generation - Exodus
- Bathory - Under The Sign of The Black Mark
- Frankie Goes To Hollywood - Welcome To The Pleasur...
- Kittie - Spit
- Nightwish - Once
- Guns N' Roses - Appetite For Destruction
- Metallica & Lou Reed - Lulu
- The Breeders - Last Spalsh
- Rival Schools - United By Fate
- Pixies - Doolittle
- Anthrax - Sound of White Noise
- The Smiths - The World Won't Listen
- Guster - Goldfly
- Rush - Clockwork Angels
- Day of Rest - General update
- Slayer - World Painted Blood
- Zero 7 - Simple Things
- Exhorder - Slaughter In The Vatican
- The Vandals - The Quickening
- Ginger Wildheart - 555%
- Rob Dougan - Furious Angels
- Far - Tin Cans With Strings To You
- Sepultura - Roots
- Dislocated Styles - Pin The Tail On The Honkey
- W.A.S.P - W.A.S.P
- Pink Floyd - The Division Bell
- Iron Maiden - Fear Of The Dark
- House Of Pain - House Of Pain
- Jeff Wayne - War Of the Worlds: The New Generation...
- Symphony X - Paradise Lost
- Nightwish - Imaginaerum
- The Cooper Temple Clause - See This Through And Le...
- Morbid Angel - Illud Divinum Insanus
- Frank Turner - Sleep Is For The Week
- Frank Zappa - Apostrophe (')
- Frank Zappa & The Mothers of Invention - Cruising ...
- Meet the team....almost.....
- Airhead - Boing!!
- ▼ April (55)
So, we have reached the end of the year and it's been an eventful 12 months! So much has happened, the standard of the records rel...
Who doesn't like an end of year list? No-one! They tell you they don't, but inside they secretly do. So, as we approach the e...
Has it really been that long ago since I started this blog? The first post (cleverly linked here) was posted on the 2nd December (o...
Alice Cooper is a legend that really doesn't need any introduction, if you're new to the game then you've got a little bit ...
New Language (stylised NEW LANGUAGE) is a band I found out about early this year whilst looking for songs for my radio show. As with a f...
Rightly or wrongly, They Might Be Giants will always be viewed as a ‘One Hit Wonder’ in the UK, which is a shame. If you mention thei...
Well, what a year it has been for releases. 2015 has been an incredible year for me with records and for the blog as well - ...
Seems like an apt image for the year (the other was the Grim Reaper laughing), 2016 has been a bit of a shit year in some ways and in oth...
Welcome to the final round-up review of 2017! Similar to the Round-Up posts I put up earlier in the year, I’m going to be posting some bull...
I never thought I would get the change chance to review a new album by Iron Monkey. It just didn’t seem possible for this legendary act...