Simple Things

( 6 )

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Lydia Vanderloo
They've been dubbed the British Air, in allusion to the French band that made it as hip to like prog-rock as it is to like Beck. And you'll hear why straightaway on Simple Things, the retro-soul- and beats-filled debut from London duo Zero 7. The opening track, "I Have Seen," is suffused with lush strings, which hang like a fog over a pulsing bass line and folksy-sounding acoustic guitar. But whereas the French duo dredge up the arrangements of '70s album rock, the guys in Zero 7 take their cues from the production and arrangement style of soulman Quincy Jones, the legendary George Martin, or even underground legend David Axelrod, as they pad their down-tempo beats ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Lydia Vanderloo
They've been dubbed the British Air, in allusion to the French band that made it as hip to like prog-rock as it is to like Beck. And you'll hear why straightaway on Simple Things, the retro-soul- and beats-filled debut from London duo Zero 7. The opening track, "I Have Seen," is suffused with lush strings, which hang like a fog over a pulsing bass line and folksy-sounding acoustic guitar. But whereas the French duo dredge up the arrangements of '70s album rock, the guys in Zero 7 take their cues from the production and arrangement style of soulman Quincy Jones, the legendary George Martin, or even underground legend David Axelrod, as they pad their down-tempo beats with strings, keys, and rich, soulful vocals from a handful of guest singers. The results are so artfully layered and so easy on the ears that it's no surprise to learn that Zero 7's primaries, knobsmen Sam Hardaker and Henry Binns, got their start as engineers, recording a few singles on the side as well as remixing songs for Radiohead and Lenny Kravitz. The pair spin gorgeous webs around both the sensual, Seal-like vocals of Mozez on the aforementioned "I Have Seen" and the sultry coos of young soul divas Sia Furler and Sophie Barker on "Destiny" Furler shines in the spotlight on the spare "Distractions". Hardarker and Binns also approach their instrumental mini-symphonies e.g., "Polaris" and "Give It Away" as if they were fancifully decorated gateaux, each element tastefully put in place. With Simple Things, Zero 7 have crafted a cinematic, evocative debut that injects a much-needed boost of creativity into contemporary dance music.
All Music Guide - Tim DiGravina
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.
NME
One of the most accomplished and refreshing albums of the year.

One of the most accomplished and refreshing albums of the year.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 11/13/2001
  • Label: Palm Pictures (Audio
  • UPC: 660200500726
  • Catalog Number: 5007

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 I Have Seen (5:07)
  2. 2 Polaris (4:48)
  3. 3 Destiny (5:37)
  4. 4 Give It Away (5:17)
  5. 5 Simple Things (4:24)
  6. 6 Red Dust (5:40)
  7. 7 Distractions (5:16)
  8. 8 In the Waiting Line (4:32)
  9. 9 Out of Town (4:47)
  10. 10 This World (5:35)
  11. 11 Likufanele (6:11)
  12. 12 End Theme (3:39)
  13. 13 Salt Water Sound (5:30)
  14. 14 Spinning (6:03)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Zero 7 Primary Artist
Phil Thornalley Bass, Guitar
Sophie Barker Vocals
Maxton G. Beesley Jr. fender rhodes
Sally Herbert Violin
David Litman Flute
Jeremy Stacey Violin, Drums
Henry Binns Track Performer
Sam Hardaker Track Performer
Alan Simpson Guitar
Oli Savill Percussion
Graeme Stewart Trumpet
Simon Elms Trumpet
Miggy Barradas Drums
Jenny Arrel Percussion
Brilliant Strings Strings
Peter Trotman Bass
Technical Credits
Henry Binns Composer
Sam Hardaker Composer
Demus Engineer
Zero 7 Producer, Engineer, Remixing
Sia Furler Composer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 6 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(5)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Awesome!

    I love this cd! It IS awesome for a dinner party, for driving long distances, or even studying to. Many of the tracks are a calm mix of instrumental and some have lyrics. I LOVE "Give it Away" and many of the songs would be perfect for anything. It fits whatever mood you're in, especially if you need a calm end while driving after a hectic day at the workplace.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Justin a 32 yr. old music lover.

    This is a very good cd. Every track is great. I listen to it on a nice long car trip or as background music for a dinner party. The cuts are so laidback you'll really enjoy it. I recommend it to anyone who likes jazz or soul, it's a nice blend.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    one of my favorite cds

    I got hooked to this CD after hearing "Likufanele" somewhere. I am not a big electronica/club music fan, but this CD goes on every couple of days. It's perfect background music, as the vocals are mostly sparse and and the instrumentals are chill. I listen to it while studying. Definitely worth getting, as every song on the CD is a gem.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Great hang out music

    I play this CD often when I have friends over. Really great sound. Creates a wonderful mood.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A Break From the Ordinary

    Zero 7's Simple Things is a great relief from the trash that has been coming out lately. It combines great lyrics and peaceful music that doesn't bore you or get too repetitive. This cd is a must for anyone who wants to relax to great music.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 9, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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