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Simple Things

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Album Review

Forget the rampant labeling of Zero 7 as the "British Air," because Simple Things is a debut album that stands on its own as a chilled, subtle collection of organic songs. There are hints of Air, but there are equally relevant comparisons that might be made with Morcheeba, Rae & Christian, Nightmares on Wax, and early Massive Attack. Indeed, after Morcheeba's overproduced Fragments of Freedom and Rae & Christian's sloppy Sleepwalking, Simple Things picks up the slack in a rewarding manner. Simple Things might just be a gentle Cinderella, a kind stepsister to Massive Attack's dark masterpiece, Mezzanine. It's rare that a post-trip-hop album is so interesting and engrossing, but the duo of Henry Binns and Sam Hardaker mix a number of musical elements, such as soul-influenced diva vocals, gurgling and ringing keyboards, and classical string arrangements, into a relaxing, potent wave of sounds. Though the album starts to meander in its closing tracks, the first 50 minutes are cohesive, vibrant, and calming. Highlights are too numerous to call out, as the duo switches from instrumentals to songs featuring passionate, energized vocals from Mozez, Sia Furler, and Sophie Barker. All three vocalists mingle as perfect matches to the smart arrangements. Twinkling keyboards, barely-there basslines, and acoustic guitars create rolling melodies that never interfere with the task at hand, that of chiseling textured aural atmospheres. Simple Things is an accomplished slice of soulful genius that rewards frequent spins.

Customer Reviews

A soulful place to chill

Hard to characterize Zero7 and this album. It's far more soulful than Air, not exactly electronic, but it's a seriously relaxed groove. Try it--you'll like it.

Un must to have

Depuis que j'ai éecouvert Zero 7, les portes du Trip-Hop m'ont montré une nouvelle gamme d'arrangements musicaux plus sensationnels les un que les autres! Définitivement, Zero 7 est un incontournable du trip-hop!!!

LOVE IT!

Cerebral candy

Top quality lounge music.

Biography

Formed: 1997 in London, England

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

The men behind the European downtempo outfit Zero 7 — producers Henry Binns and Sam Hardaker — launched their careers in the music industry as tea boys at a London recording studio. Shortly thereafter, however, both were in the thick of action, working alongside a string of well-known British musicians such as the Pet Shop Boys and Robert Plant. They spent the best part of the '90s honing their production skills behind the scenes....
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Simple Things, Zero 7
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